Beth Wright is Director and Senior Legal Counsel at Bank Julius Baer, and former co-Chair of WiFA. In the 2021 Spotlight Series interview, she reflects on proud moments in her career, advice to her younger self and much more.
1. Tell us about a proud moment for you in your career?
When I first moved to Hong Kong I joined the JP Morgan Women’s Network. I remember one of the Chairs resigning during one of our weekly calls and being asked if I would be willing to step in – I didn’t think, I just said yes! Shortly after, I joined and subsequently went on to co-chair Women in Finance Asia for nearly 8 years and grew the network from approximately 500 members to over 2000 men and women from financial institutions all across Hong Kong. Each month we would host events and bring people together to network, to educate, to upskill and develop professionally and even to fundraise. I am truly proud of what the organisation achieved and even more proud of what it has become under each and every new leadership. I learned (and still continue to learn) a huge amount from being a part of and previously running the organisation.
2. 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 believe that having a mentor is one of the best things you can do for your career. My first mentor was Timothy Hailes, who taught me the importance of being part of a team, learning from my fellow legal colleagues as well as the businesses we supported. Most importantly, he taught me to embrace a challenge. The legal team sat on the trading floor in London, and I will never forget the excitement of being such an intrinsic part of the business. He then sent me to Hong Kong and the rest is history. I now have several men and women who I consider my mentors, from whom I draw inspiration and guidance and would highly recommend seeking out individuals both within and outside your organisation to create your own “team of advisors” to help you on your career journey.
3. Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?
Not to worry about the small stuff. To have faith that with hard work and discipline you will end up exactly where you are meant to be. To take any and all opportunities that come your way as you never know where they might take you. To stay open minded and generous hearted. Most importantly always strive to be the best you can, learn from others, listen to feedback and look for ways to grow and develop… oh and you are on your own journey so don’t compare yourself to others!
4. Aside from work, what are your other passions?
When I am not at work, I spend my time keeping myself and others fit! I learned really early on in my career that to survive the corporate lifestyle you need balance – it can’t all be work – and for me that means finding ways to be physically fit and healthy. I trained as a personal trainer whilst studying law and have continued to teach and educate people on health and fitness in my spare time. I would say this part of my life has helped to keep me both physically and mentally healthy… and allows me to enjoy the different challenges of my day job even more. Not to mention that it also helps balance my other passions… which is a dangerous love of good food and wine.