Finance Monthly - April 2023

Tell us about your story and what brought you to where you are today. Parts of my story share similarities with many female leaders who have struggled through a maledominated system – having to choose between career success and family priorities and trying to establish what “success” really means to me. I was always good at maths at school. After university, I qualified as an accountant with the big 4. My career took flight when I moved into a senior finance leadership role Chloe Walton - Hello2morrow FEMALE LEADERSHIP: How to Promote Sustainable High Performance in an FTSE 100 company. In 2005, I chose to follow the next path and started a family of two gorgeous boys. But coming back from maternity leave was destabilising. The change in attitude towards me as a senior female leader and a mother was obvious. I felt conflicted with the language that dictated what success should look like for a high performer. It was a subtle, almost unspoken language. But it was there, and other people’s definition of success began taking over my life direction. “Oh leaving early….(it was 5.30 pm)”, “Enjoy your day off ….(when working part-time)” and it went on. Needless to say, I left, believing that I couldn’t continue up the career ladder, I moved on to a new senior leadership role at an exciting technology and data startup. I was thrilled to work with an innovative and energetic team of young people. But again the poor culture at the C-suit level dragged the organisation down to a slow decline and eroded my confidence. The inflexible structure, designed for men, was breaking me from the inside. I was constantly exhausted and struggled to balance motherhood and the expectation of what my role entailed. I also knew I was paid less, working as many hours, and bringing in as Finance Monthly. Bus i ne s s & Economy 47

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