A senior leader at Martin Currie, Jennifer Mair joined the firm in 2015 and has taken a lead role in implementing Martin Currie’s strategic plan. In her day to day role as Chief of Staff and General Counsel, Jennifer is responsible for providing legal and governance advice to Martin Currie’s global business. Mother to two children, Jennifer provides insight into the women who inspire her on International Women’s Day.
Q - What does International Women's Day mean to you?
International Women's Day for me is all about equality. It's equality of women's rights. It’s equality of opportunity for women and it's also an opportunity for us to focus on and celebrate women's achievements and the contribution that women make to society.
We are committed to having a truly diverse and inclusive business, in all ways possible
Q - Who are the women that have inspired you throughout your career and in life in general?
This is a question that fascinates me and I spend a lot of time listening to women leaders and women speakers talking about equality and diversity and leadership and one person that stands out for me particularly is Christine Lagarde, who is currently president of the European Central Bank, formerly the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
Christine inspires me by her incredible capability, her credibility and, you know, thoroughly fully, heavyweight role that she carries out in terms of global policy and driving change. But it's also the humanity that she brings to her role and the work that she's done to shine a spotlight on inequality for women, and the structures and policies she has put in place to try and improve access to education and leadership and working rights for women across the globe. So, someone I find particularly inspiring.
I would link that back to my own family history where there's been a strong focus on education. The women going back to my mother and my grandmother, have been incredibly focused on education for their children, girls and boys, and have made huge personal sacrifices to allow their children to have an education, believing that this was the opener of doors for them.
Those women gave me the belief that I could make opportunity for myself and if opportunity presented it they gave me the confidence to go ahead and take it. So, I'm very grateful for that strength that they've given me through my upbringing.
Q - What has Martin Currie been doing to improve the opportunities for women and it's female employees?
I mean this is a subject that we're all very passionate about at Martin Currie, we have been thinking and planning a lot about it over the last number of years. We have done a lot of work on policy and policy development. Making sure that our policies are aligned and positive around maternity and paternity leave, flexible working but also you know, in the day-to-day operation of business in our governance and our decision making.
Diversity is present in our governance forums, currently between 25% and 50% of our governance committees' representation is female. We have changed recruitment practices to make sure that they are absolutely impartial, that there's no scope for bias within those, and you know, it's an ongoing journey. We're really committed to having a truly diverse and inclusive business, in all ways possible.
Q - As Head of Diversity and Inclusion, you're also the chair of the Investment and Distribution Executive committees at Martin Currie. Do you have any advice for women aspiring to leadership rules, particularly in finance?
OK, so absolutely. I mean I'm a full-time working Mum, busy job, busy home life. But at the same time I feel that I am teaching my children lessons of responsibility, commitment, reliability, resilience, all good things that I value and I hope that my children, in time, will value too.
Other things are having personal boundaries and talking about them. We all need time to recharge and reset, and we shouldn't be ashamed of that. And then the final point is about, believing in yourself and believing in and showing your true value, what you can contribute. We all have inadequacies but we shouldn’t focus on those, we can offer and look for help to support us where we need help but believe in yourself and believe in what you have got to offer.
This information is issued and approved by Martin Currie Investment Management Limited (‘MCIM’), authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It does not constitute investment advice.
The information contained in this video has been compiled with considerable care to ensure its accuracy. However, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made to its accuracy or completeness. The views expressed are opinions of the presenters.