After completing a summer internship with PwC during her degree at the University of Birmingham, Siân joined our Management Consulting team in London in 2014 and has since achieved many career milestones. As part of our International Women's Day series Siân is keen to raise awareness and representation of black women in the consulting profession.
“I think it's really important to recognise the successes we have made in society to support equality and progression of women at PwC. Yet I also recognise and do not shy away from how much more there is to do. I believe that sometimes people can't be what they can't see;being a black woman in consulting and progressing to Manager level within my first 4 years in the industry is something I am really proud of.”
Siân is part of our People & Organisation Management Consulting team, working with clients in the Financial Services sector. She primarily works with Insurance clients to support their organisational and people change initiatives as part of broader digital transformation programmes. Some of her projects include operating model design and implementation, culture and behavioural change initiatives, as well as talent management and employee experience activities.
Working in a role which is so people focussed is one of the many reasons Siân has enjoyed her career over the last 7 years at PwC. Outside of work she’s equally as driven and enjoys working with her local community to help those around her. She’s used her skills, confidence and knowledge gained at work to involve herself with community focused initiatives in her local borough of Tower Hamlets.
“I believe it’s important for others to give back, and lead by example. I was keen to get involved in my local community and attended one of the School Governor learning events PwC put on. Fast forward 6 months from that event and I was appointed as the Chair of the Finance & Resources committee of a primary school. It’s been such an enriching experience to look at challenges from a different perspective to those I am used to with clients.”
Despite leading some very busy client projects, Siân always makes time for holiday and alongside her partner David, she’s visited some of the world’s greatest sights. Her travels have taken her from the Amazon rainforest and the Inca trail to Uluru, in Australia, and although doesn’t regard herself as an adrenaline junkie, often finds herself on quad bikes exploring the areas. But no trip is complete without sampling all the local cuisines, and even during the covid lockdown, Siân supported her local eateries with ‘meal kits’ and ‘cookalongs’ to sample foods from around the world.
On the topic of supporting locally, Siân also worked at the 2012 Olympics which required her to undertake a three-day barista course to supply refreshments to spectators at the basketball arena. She’s officially barista trained although she hasn’t told many of her colleagues… until now!
Alongside her external appointment as the Finance & Resource Chair at a local primary school, Siân’s also co-chairs the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Diversity & Inclusion Group where she is currently driving the development of best practice guidance for 60+ member firms to support diversity and inclusion within their organisations.
“It's important to recognise intersectionality and ensure we have visible role models, especially for women within the consultancy industry. Being a black British Caribbean woman is a huge part of my identity. For me, it’s important that we continue the conversation on recognising that we are all multifaceted individuals who will experience different challenges in and outside of work. It’s these unique experiences and qualities that we bring to work.”
Looking back at her career, Siân reflects that her proudest achievement has been leading the people and organisational change efforts on an 8 month £30m digital transformation tender process. During that time she delivered client workshops and executive presentations alongside PwC Partners and Directors, and it was her team's input to these that helped secure the opportunity.
“To know that we were appointed due to the focus around our ability to communicate our people-centred ways of working and cultural fit was incredible. It was such a boost for our team and makes everyone’s efforts worthwhile.”
The success and pride Siân felt from securing the mandate with her team is not a unique story as many of our people tell us that their biggest surprise about joining PwC is the people they meet and the real friendships they’ve built. For Siân, many of her life long friends work at PwC in the UK and abroad. Having this global network helps Siân continue to raise awareness and aspirations of those looking to join our Consulting teams.
As part of our People and Organisation team, Siân believes that our ‘Make a difference’ value resonates with her the most.
“We (PwC) aren’t just accepting how we have always done things, we continue to strive for more, enabling us to be thought leaders. That’s when you truly embrace difference and the benefits different perspectives can bring.
Being myself at PwC means I’m accepted for who I am and others can be exactly who they want to be without fear of repercussion or negative judgement. The decisions we make for ourselves in our working lives must be accepted and supported by colleagues. The clothes we choose, the way we style our hair, how we learn and our working patterns are all important to being your authentic self at work.”
As an advocate for many groups inside of PwC and in her own personal life, Siân wishes to make a final comment around her support of female empowerment and this years International Womens Day campaign;
“I strongly encourage women at all levels to lead by example and ‘pay it forward’ – every female in PwC is a leader, no matter what grade they are; they will be seen as a role model by someone. I encourage all women (and men) who provide coaching or mentoring to women to encourage the same behaviours to be paid forward to another woman who may need support in navigating their career.”