When Alison Rose discovered that only 1% of venture capital funding is given to all-women teams, she decided to do something about it. She began having constructive conversations to have more women become investment officers because she is determined to help the UK economy. The 51-year-old has been in the banking industry for almost three decades, and her dedication has paid off by becoming Natwest's first female CEO. However, besides setting the pace for women in entrepreneurship, there are a few more facts to Alison, as you shall read below.
1. She is a hands-on parent
Most women who choose to climb the corporate ladder usually barely have time to be with their families. However, Alison ensures that she finds time to be with her children regardless of how busy her day is. She said that even when she traveled internationally, the golden rule was to never be away from home during weekends. Her commitment to being a present parent has not come easy, and she admitted that sometimes, trying to juggle work and parenting was a disaster.
2. She is committed to promoting gender equality
Those who believe women are their own worst enemies are yet to meet Alison Rose, who is determined to see that more women hold powerful positions. The realization of how few women are in corner offices came as she rose the ranks at the National Westminster Bank. When Alison first joined the bank, as a trainee, she had both male and female teammates, but the more she got promoted, the fewer the women she came across during client and team meetings. Therefore in 2014, she set targets to see at least 30% female representation in the bank's top four levels.
3. Her salary
According to CNBC, Alison's remuneration package is slightly higher than her predecessor, McEwan. While McEwan received a base salary of £1 million, Alison's base pay was set at £1.1 million. Additionally, unlike McEwan, who got a pension of £350,000 per year, Alison's pension is 10% of her annual salary. However, just like McEwan, Alison's fixed share allowance is also 100% of her salary.
4. How she has made history in the UK's banking industry
Alison is the epitome of a woman shattering the glass ceiling by going down in history, and the first woman ever to be the CEO of one of the UK's big four banks. The big four banks comprise Barclays, HSBC, RBS, and Lloyds Banking Group. She has set the pace for the bank in recognizing women for senior positions because she was joined by Katie Murray, the bank's Chief Financial Officer, who was promoted in early 2019. Having already worked at the bank for 27 years, Alison was not intimidated by the new position; truth be told, she could not wait to get started immediately after her promotion.
5. Her biggest role models
During her interview with Manchester Evening News, Alison Rose disclosed that her parents have been her biggest role models. Her mother has always had so much faith in her that Alison felt she could move mountains. Her father, on the other hand, has been so supportive, pushing her to do whatever was necessary to achieve her goal and encouraging the CEO to challenge herself.
6. The opportunity that changed her career trajectory
Alison admits that there is no straight path to success as she spoke from her experience. Earlier on in her career, Alison preferred dealing with clients face-to-face and focusing on her customers. However, she confessed that someone told her to challenge herself by doing something that was not obvious in her career. Therefore, Alison took up a job that demanded her to be a leader, working globally. At first, she found it so complicated that she got sick for three months, trying to figure out what to do since it was out of her comfort zone. However, looking back, that experience made her realize that she was enjoyed holding leadership positions.
7. Her first major decision at the bank
Express & Star published that Alison's first major decision as the new CEO of RBS is changing its name to Natwest Group plc. The change was supported by other stakeholders who opine that since 80% of the bank's customers transact with the Natwest brand, it is only fair that they rebrand themselves. RBS chairman added that "RBS" was because they were a global group at the time, but they exited unprofitable international businesses.
8. She is humble about her achievements
Women have always encouraged themselves by saying what a man can do, a woman can do better. However, what happens when the woman does a much better job; is she supposed to remain humble or gloat? Alison sets the right example by showing that once a woman achieves something, she should encourage her fellow women to follow in her footsteps. Therefore even though she attained a significant milestone in her career, Alison believes that it is not because she is special; other people can do the same because she is not uniquely gifted.
9. She wanted to be a diplomat
After growing up with a military family abroad, Alison thought about becoming a diplomat. Her career, however, began in banking, and she has never looked back. Regardless of whatever reason the CEO wanted to be a diplomat, hopefully, she can cherish the more rewarding career as a banker. While diplomats barely make $100,000 in a year, she takes home over a million pounds every year.
10. She was chosen to lead a government review on female entrepreneurship
Robert Jenrick, the Treasury's Exchequer Secretary, observed that women interested in starting a business faced barriers that their male counterparts did not. Therefore, he vowed to remedy the situation, and the first step was to review female entrepreneurship. Alison Rose became the ideal candidate to identify the barriers and help level the playing field. After accepting the position, Alison said that they had to ensure no one was left behind to make the UK a favorable place for business.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee