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International Women's Day 2024 Q&A with...Caroline Matthews

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day 2024, we’ve spoken to members of our senior leadership team about their career motivation, inspiration and advice for the next generation. Today we're hearing from Caroline Matthews, Director - Marketing.

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Caroline Matthews

What’s your biggest career achievement?

A few spring to mind, but probably both joining Christie & Co as a Board member, and then being offered the first Group role at Christie Group. It was a real honour and one that I feel privileged to have today. Taking this role on just before (an unbeknownst to me at the time) lockdown, then becoming a solo parent during covid to two young children, showed to me that anything is possible if you focus on your strengths and also don’t mind sharing when things get difficult. It is a cliché that you learn more through adversity, but it really is true. In a people business, who you are is a defining factor and allowing yourself to push through barriers, that you sometimes create yourself, is vital to reaching your true potential. I never saw myself as ‘traditionally’ ambitious, but I’ve always been hungry to learn, wanted to develop myself and help others grow. Yes, I am a woman, and a Mum and other ‘labels’, but my biggest achievement is finding a job that I love, in a firm that I love, and being valued for that; I think that’s an achievement that both men and women would recognise.

 What was your first job?

My first part time job was working as a Saturday assistant at Debenhams and having to wear a terrible silk scarf at the age of 17! My first full time job was straight after university – having sole responsibility for all English content/publicity for the Taiwanese Embassy (including writing speeches for the Ambassador). A surreal moment was hearing the Taiwanese Ambassador perfectly deliver my Spice Girls joke to 500 MPs at Grosvenor House (including Margaret Thatcher) when I was just 21. I still can’t remember how I got that job either! This role gave me the taste for communications, engaging with people and importantly, an interest in human behaviour and what drives decision-making; all which ultimately led me to focus on a career in marketing. 

 What is one piece of advice you’d give to younger women in business?

I’d give the same advice to both younger women and men; find something you love to do and then turn up and show up for yourself, and for your colleagues. Resilience, hard work and putting your hand up to try new things gets you noticed and will – equally importantly - help you identify in yourself what brings you the most sense of achievement. Motivation helps you direct your energy and enthusiasm.

What drives / motivates you in your career?

Quite simply nowadays it’s motivating others. I love seeing colleagues develop, learn, and become who they want to be at work. I also love that in Marketing, there is never a typical day, there is never a one size fits all approach, there are always new things to test and try, and my job is never done!

Is there a female leader that you particularly admire? Why?

I have leaders (regardless of gender), that I admire. Now that I’m well into my career (aka getting old!) I think that Steven Bartlett embodies much of what I think leaders should: passion, responsibility, accountability, honesty, integrity, and a healthy dose of vulnerability. 

For more of our International Women's Day 2024 Q&As, click here.

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