The Virgin Banker

The Founder of Inspire Leadership & focuses on unlocking people’s potential by providing them with programs; mentorship and coaching into high performance

By: Jayne-Anne Gadhia

For the past couple of weeks, I have been writing a paper about the role of women in corporate sustainability. I am doing this work to understand better the Africa sustainability perspective and the antecedent of the same. While in the process of this work, I bumped into a book, the Virgin Banker- by Jayne- Anne Gadhia. Jayne-Anne is the Founder and Executive Chair of SnoopApp and the former CEO of Virgin Money who previously served as UK government’s Women in Finance Champion and is a supporter of businesses responsibility to make a positive contribution to society. This book is full of antecedents from Jayne-Anne life before becoming one of the British finest bankers. 

 She tells life stories on how she managed to become a banker in a male dominated setting. It is a story of how beat bullies are experiencing racism as well as building a business from scratch and also how she made Virgin Money a listed business. The story is about breaking boundaries professionally and personally.

It is a great book for me to shine a light on matters of women in the corporate world and especially in areas of doing good business. This is a book that anybody aspiring or already at the top of the corporate ladder, both men and women should read. Jayne-Anne also shares with us some of the personal challenges that she faced including mental health issues, which has helped her attitude and approach to both business and personal life.

The book is fresh, candid and portrays interesting insights on the challenges and opportunities that a woman in business face; how to deal with the looming financing crisis as well as how doing good business can be good business.

The following are key takeaways from the book:

  • We can all change the world through our businesses.

Diversity on boards, in business and in teams seems to be an important part of running a good and safe organization in the future- this is the subject of papers I am working on if you might be wondering. 

  • You never know who is watching and where the next opportunity will come from- always do good.
  • Hubris is best avoided by surrounding yourself with people who keep your feet on the ground- please hunt for these people.
  • What matters in life is attitude, personality, aptitude and empathy.
  • Work hard and you will find your way.

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