Gillian Larkins, Chief Financial Officer of Westpac Institutional Bank (pictured), features in the second instalment of the CFO Masters Series by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.
In the video of her interview with Stuart Cameron, Gillian Larkins offers open and honest insights into what it takes to become a leading CFO. She also talks about her own female role models; challenges that she faces as CFO; the importance of networking; the path towards achieving work/life balance; and the crucial role of mentors.
When asked by Stuart Cameron whether she sees herself as a trail blazer for women in the financial profession? Gillian Larkins replied: “Absolutely not, absolutely not. I’ve joined an institution and I’ve joined a bank where there are many female peers to myself and I just feel thankful that I can actually carry out my career in such an environment. I feel very fortunate.”
When asked why there aren’t more women in senior positions in Australia? She said: “I think [women] have choices and I think all through their lives they make those choices and there are some very capable women out there, who just choose for a certain time and period in their life, to take time out and care for their personal life and their family…but I think you find people coming back in their 40’s, after caring for children.”
The CFO of Westpac Institutional Bank also touches on how she juggles her own career with motherhood.
“I feel I’ve got the best life because I have children and I’m able to still have a career, and I have a partner who’s fully supportive and lends 50/50.”
She also describes the changing role of the CFO and details how she makes sure she has the knowledge required to contribute to organisational strategy.
“You just have to be aware; continuously reading, continuously talking to your colleagues, talking to your mentors, talking to your bosses,” she said.
When reflecting on tertiary education’s relevance to business, Larkins states that while aptitude is the most important thing; “If you get through the hard years of tertiary education, it’s worth its weight in gold.”
You can watch the more interviews on RHiWatch at http://rhiwatch.viotv.com, a web media portal that houses video and podcast content for finance and accounting professionals.
Viewers can expect to see new instalments of the CFO Master Series on a monthly basis, featuring CFOs from Colonial First State bank, CSIRO, Procter & Gamble, Qantas and more.