News & Media Centre

Name:                Zoe Wright
Position:           HR Director

In no more than 200 words, tell us your personal background, who you are and what drives you?

I've worked in HR for 25 years and have worked my way up from HR Administrator to where I am today, HR Director. On a personal level I have 3 daughters, and 1 granddaughter. I had my first daughter very young (19) and I didn't have any professional qualifications at that time. From the age of 21 I started studying part-time for my CIPD qualifications, and finally achieved a Masters degree in 2013 at the age of 35. Along the way I suffered bereavement losing my Dad when I was 25 and went through Divorce in my early forties, I believe that the challenges you face in life make you stronger and I don't let anything hold me back, and I am continually focused on self-improvement.

Who has been most inspiring to your career and why?

I worked for a female MD around ten years ago and she really motivated me to better myself and develop my career. She was a strong female leader and I was really inspired by her focus and determination to succeed.

What’s been your experience as a woman in a male dominated sector?

In my previous company as Group Director of People, I was the only female in the SLT for many years, I have seen and experienced behaviour that I believe to be less favourable or different to how my peers were treated, and I am determined to challenge that sort of behaviour when I see or hear it.

What are you most proud of to date and what challenges did you overcome to get there?

I am very proud of achieving my Masters Degree, it took many years to get there and many hours of locking myself away to spend hours revising or writing essays. I am also very proud of my 3 daughters, 26, 20 and 18 who are all positive, motivated women making their way in the world and hopefully making a difference.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. Why are equal opportunities no longer enough and what can we do to create a more equitable society?

Gender pay has made good steps in achieving equality, however there still isn't equal pay for work of equal value as jobs traditionally performed by women are valued less than jobs traditionally performed by men. Equality of opportunity should be there for everyone.

Do you think First Central is an inclusive employer? What have your experiences been internally?

Yes, I have never experienced any inequity at FCG.

What advice do you have to any aspiring female leaders?

Be brave, push yourself out of your comfort zone and put on your big girl pants ;-)