Carla Stent serves as NED for Christian Aid and Deputy Chair of the Young Women’s Trust and has co created several start ups. She spent 20+ years in executive, international banking, private equity and retail roles (including Barclays, Thomas Cook and Virgin), operating at Board level.
A Chartered Accountant, she has deep financial, operational, strategic and transformational experience. Carla holds B Comm and Masters degrees in Accounting and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
1. How has being an active woman has helped you in your professional life?
I have to get some regular exercise. Having had slightly temperamental back (too many horse riding accidents as a child!), exercise is a practical solution to keeping pain free. But, more importantly, it is also my release. I do some of my best thinking when I am out on a run. Issues that seem insurmountable at the desk, somehow have a few potential solutions by the end of a run!
And being out in the open air, whether alone or with others, does remind me that no matter what might be going on in business, the world keeps turning. It’s a great alternative perspective on life.
2. Why are you personally supporting the Top of Her Game campaign?
There are so many parallels between successful athletes and successful business people. But, as we climb a corporate or career ladder, we sometimes forget that we need to work on stamina, endurance and physical fitness. We sometimes forget that, just like any athlete, you have to have a plan to win, coupled with the confidence and self belief to know that you can succeed. And, just like any top athlete, you have to have an ace team around you – all aiming for the same successful outcome.
Ever since I was young, Denis Watley’s quote has had great resonance: “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” I carry a copy of this in my purse as a constant reminder.
For me #topofhergame embodies exactly this. Business and sport can learn from much each other.