When I asked Gillian for her advice to other women building careers, she drew upon the lessons gleaned during her own climb: “You have to be resourceful, by being aware of the broader, outside world and staying current with what else is out there. Know that your current job isn’t forever, and make sure you have more tools in your tool kit. Be relevant and resourceful, and every time you get knocked back, reframe yourself and work out how you are going to step ahead.”
Since the ups and downs can be jarring, Gillian advises that getting through the tough days might require carving out time to separate work and personal life: “I know there’s a bigger picture than just your corporate life, so I run, do Pilates, and make sure I’m there for my family. Then every morning I get up raring to go.”
As I reflected on Gillian’s story, I reminded myself that women need to find the inner confidence to pick themselves up, see the upside, and chart their path forward. In Gillian’s words, “Sometimes women are afraid to take the lead, but there will be moments where you have to make the decision and not be afraid of the consequences. Each time I did that, it was the most worthwhile time in my career.”
For more inspiring stories from women leaders in financial services visit home.kpmg/mindthegap.
More about Gillian Larkins: Gillian is the Chief Financial Officer of ASX, the Australian Securities Exchange, recognized as one of the world’s leading financial market exchanges. Appointed to this role in late 2018, she is responsible for ASX’s finance, investor relations and national facilities functions. With more than 25 years of experience in finance, strategy and management roles across industries, Gillian was CFO and Group Executive, Transformation, at an Australian investment advice company. She was previously CFO at a major regional institutional bank and was Group CFO with a global bank in Australia and New Zealand. Gillian studied economics, accounting and finance at the University of Otago in New Zealand, before beginning her banking career in the UK with a global investment bank. She earned her MBA from Macquarie University and has served on many boards including Hastings Funds Management and The Trust Company (Sydney Airport).