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Mizuho encourages and empowers women to succeed

 January 26, 2016

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“As a woman in IT, it’s good to stand out. It’s only ever beneficial to swim against the tide,” explains Caroline Atkinson, Director, Information Systems at Mizuho International in London.

Caroline’s passion, drive and unquestionable positivity have underpinned her successful career to date. She heads a Business Change Group that manages new business initiatives across the investment bank. “I love my role because the change programmes I work on are so wide-ranging, from looking at the approval of any new products the business would like to trade, to setting up a new  Front Office supervision tool. I need to be a generalist with a broad understanding of each area of the business.”

Caroline graduated with a First Class IT degree from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, where there were only seven women out of 300 undergraduates were so she has first-hand experience of feeling under-represented. “Women need to ensure they constantly put themselves forward and seek out something that provides them with a niche and a unique perspective” Caroline advises.

Moving from larger investment banks to Mizuho, Caroline feels fortunate to be part of a collaborative and sociable culture. “Mizuho has a very friendly and inclusive working environment. This makes a significant difference, particularly when rolling out change programmes! If you need to meet with a colleague, you go for coffee.”

Mizuho is committed to creating a supportive environment for its employees and has put in place a number of initiatives to promote balance by facilitating different work styles.   

“Mizuho encourages and empowers women to succeed and it’s something they take very seriously,” explains Caroline, a mother of three young children. “I work three days in the office, and a half a day working from home which helps manage my child care arrangements. For a senior position it’s hard to get that level of flexibility in most organisations. It’s refreshing.  It shows the organisation is willing to make a long term investment in me. Ultimately this means I’m committed, engaged and loyal to Mizuho. It also demonstrates to my team and the company as a whole that Mizuho is a flexible and supportive organisation.”

Mizuho believes that if you are happy in your personal life, you are more likely to succeed professionally. The organisation recently supported a number of female employees to attend ‘Shine’, a programme designed to maximise individual potential, release creativity and develop an authentic leadership style. As one of the participants, Caroline said, “it was such an inspiring couple of days and I’m proud of Mizuho for providing the opportunity.”

Outside of work, Caroline is a keen cook and enjoys relaxing and socialising with friends over dinner. “I’ve one life and I try to get the best out of everything, I approach all areas of my life as completely as possible.” Sound advice indeed! 


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