The Northern Power Women List recognises leaders and change agents who are making a difference and having continued impact and is a way of recognising and celebrating role models across and from the North. Michelle Forward, Director of International Onboarding, Treasury Services was added to the list this year.
My first reaction was one of total surprise quickly followed by a ‘thank you very much’ as it’s quite an honour to be added to this list of very inspirational and smart women. The list showcases many, many brilliant women across the North of the UK so who wouldn’t feel delighted to be added to the list and be amongst such accomplished company – I certainly am!
I think everyone deserves the opportunity to be recognised and appreciated but the recognition for women specifically helps to remind us of the important role of women in all walks of life and how so much has changed and improved generation by generation, although sadly not for all women. I think it’s great to shine a light on the many achievements of those from diverse backgrounds which will hopefully inspire other women and young girls and open them up to the opportunities and possibilities in life.
I have always embraced opportunities to join projects, accept new roles and volunteer for tasks. By the age of 30 I secured my first department manager role, assuming responsibility for a large operational department of 150 people. Then I decided to take some time out and took a career break for a year to study to teach English as a foreign language, relocating to Spain with my husband and three cats. It was a great experience, however, writing lesson plans on my own with no team around me was simply not my forte. Three years later I moved back to the UK, living in Manchester. We love Manchester and joining BNY Mellon in 2007 really enabled me to settle into the area. My career has focused on learning as much as I can, taking advantage of new opportunities and seeking out fresh challenges.
I recently took on the role of heading up the International Client Onboarding function in Treasury Services. It’s been an incredible six months getting to know the team who are based across various geographical locations and I’ve been very impressed by their expertise, client focus and enthusiasm to embrace change. We’re continually focused on process improvements and how we can elevate the client experience. It’s a very busy but enjoyable role supporting the team and partnering with colleagues to execute on a whole host of deliverables.
Northern Power Women is a campaign to accelerate gender diversity from the North of England.