Jessica Yeandle, Manager in Deloitte China, shares with WiFA her experience with mentorship, advice to her younger self, her passions, and much more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Born and raised in London, I started my career there with Deloitte in 2015. In early 2019 I moved to Hong Kong, seeking a new experience and challenge. I enjoy working with clients on their HR Technology Transformation agendas. I love problem solving, working in a team with diverse backgrounds and skills sets, and as a people person I love talking!
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 didn’t have a formal mentor relationship, but I had someone who I met on my first day as an analyst and they took me under their wing. I worked on her project for over 18 months and she helped me grow and develop. I looked to her for a role model of growing more senior in the firm, and I thank her a lot for my own professional development.
Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient, be humble and never be afraid to ask the ‘silly questions’. As an analyst, I think I must have started most of my sentences with “This might be a silly question but…” and I’m glad I did. I am fortunate that I always felt very comfortable in the teams I worked in, but you should not hold back on asking questions. Don’t be nervous about how it sounds, because we’ve all been at the beginning of our careers at some point and understand how it feels. Be patient, it’s not a race to move through your career quickly. Take the time and opportunity you have at a junior level to learn and explore, find what interests you and always be humble. It’s a characteristic we all love in people.
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?
I’m passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. This year I joined the committee of PP WIN (Pacific Place Women’s Inspire Network) – we are a community-based platform that connects like-minded women and their male allies. When restrictions eased in May 2021, we started a Breakfast Club series for our members, where once a month we meet over a coffee and a croissant and discuss themes such as engaging male allies, managing stress, and building your personal boardroom. The conversations are so fruitful and it’s a great energy starter for your day! In my opinion the pandemic has heightened the importance of simply being kind. Deloitte has been promoting diversity and gender equality for a long time; it’s embedded in our culture. This year there has been even more emphasis, with multiple events, information sharing, a strong focus on wellness, and creating a caring work environment.
Aside from work, what are your other passions?
Anything outdoors and social! I’m a passionate runner and earlier this year ran around HK Island (60km) raising money for Mind HK. I love that Hong Kong offers such a variety of activities, I go hiking, wake surfing, and every Friday morning I’m up at 6am to go to Big Wave Bay for body boarding! Back in London these activities are not on your doorstep so I relish the opportunity here.