Philippa Terry is a member of the Institute of Directors, and embarked on the Certificate in Company Direction after becoming a director and wanting to expand and strengthen her knowledge of the role.
Read on to find out how Philippa has benefited from her training so far, and what her professional development goals are for the future, supported by the IoD.
I work for Juniper Ventures Ltd. We provide education catering and cleaning to schools across Newham and beyond. We are a recently formed company that have been externalised by the London Borough of Newham who are our sole shareholder. My role at Juniper is Director of Resources.
I have worked in the industry for almost 10 years as a Senior Manager and led on many programmes of transformation. My role is to manage the business support service for the company including a payroll of over 800 staff. Working in a front line service means my role is varied from day to day and I need to be able to prioritise conflicting workloads.
Why I undertook IoD training
I am a strong advocate for life-long learning and felt that as a new director it was important to equip myself with the core knowledge and awareness needed to function effectively as a director. I am currently undertaking the Certificate in Company Direction which covers the key areas of governance, finance, strategy and leadership. Once complete I hope to continue my studies with the Diploma in Company Direction and ultimately achieve Chartered Director Status.
I really wanted to gain professional recognition and the IoD are the only institute in the world that award qualifications under the Royal Charter.
The benefits of my training
Studying for the Certificate in Company Direction has most definitely given me a better understanding of the characteristics of an effective board. It has certainly made me aware of how the decisions we make as a board can have major ramifications for the business. It’s also reaffirmed that as a director my duty is first and foremost to the company.
My biggest takeaway is that there is nothing to be frightened of or apprehensive about becoming a director. Talking through different scenarios with the course leaders has really helped me to understand how best to approach situations and the tools and techniques that can be used.
I feel that the training I’ve been on so far has given me confidence to sit on the board and be able to express my views and opinions in an articulate way. It has also allowed me to fully understand my role and responsibilities as a new director in the company.
My biggest challenge as a female director
I think my biggest challenge has been speaking up and being confident. It’s not enough to be in a role or sit at a table. It’s been important to be able to speak confidently and for me, I feel that respect comes when you are able to have your voice heard. Being able to share my voice and perspective I believe helps shape policy and the workforce.
Three pieces of advice for new directors:
Lead by example
Directors should set an example to staff. Having a good work ethic and conducting yourself in a professional manner can really help to motivate staff and get the best out of them.
Trust your own judgement
Don’t underestimate when you feel that something might be wrong. Some people feel uncomfortable speaking up about sensitive matters but with all the legal responsibilities that you carry as a company director it’s incredibly important to trust your gut and speak up.
Always keep on learning
Education for me is key to good directorship. Learning and keeping your skills up to date is key in a constantly changing environment.
To find out more about becoming a Chartered Director click here, or to take part and complete a Q&A for the Chartered Director hub, get in touch here.