Claire Beardsworth, Vice President, Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, shares with WiFA her mentorship experience, advice she would give her younger self, her passions, and much more.

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

I joined Goldman Sachs in London as a recruiter for Engineering in 2006 and then moved to Hong Kong in 2008. I have also been part of the Women’s Network at the firm for the last 5 years; it has been a great way to channel my passion for women empowerment, but also partner on how we attract more women into finance.

Mentors play an important role in the developments of many careers. Did you have a mentor? If so, what did you look for in that person? 

I have had a number of mentors over the years. It is really important to find someone you can open up with and if not, there should be a no-fault divorce. Too often, people keep ineffective mentor relationships going for too long. It has been great having mentors within my own function who can give directions based on their own observations but it is also valuable to have mentors from other divisions or organisations. I have found mentors that are external give you a very different perspective and, in my opinion, have pushed me out of my comfort zone more! 

Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self? 

Try not to second guess yourself, be a bit brave in those moments that seem to be challenging. Surround yourself with a good network of people that encourage you to be the best version of yourself.  Take a few risks and say yes to the tasks that push you outside of what’s comfortable, even though its easier to say no, that’s when you’ll learn the most.  Don’t spend so much time wondering if being a working mum is the right choice, it will be tough but you can do it and be a role model for your children and others. Try and bring a little fun into everything you do and keep your sense of humour. Nothing is really that serious!

This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you and your company continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes? 

The Women’s Network has continued to be a resource for our colleagues during this challenging period. At the beginning of the pandemic, we made sure not to allow the unfamiliarity of remote working hold us back and continued to deliver impactful events and workshops to share thought leadership and professional development opportunities and to provide forums for us to stay connected. As the head of Recruiting for APAC, my team and I remained focused and explored new ways to attract diverse candidates while helping the firm achieve our diversity aspirational goals, including increasing diverse representation at all levels and creating an even stronger culture of inclusion.  

Aside from work, what are your other passions? 

Anything that includes my friends, our puppy, and ideally an outdoor activity like a hike or the beach! I recently became a rugby coach after seeing few other female coaching across the pitch and I’m loving it.