Posted: 22nd July 2022

After studying Art, Textiles and Theatre Studies at A-Level, and completed a degree in Performing Arts, Parent, Isabel de Salis, accidentally fell into Financial PR/IR and enjoyed it so much, she co-founded her own company – St Brides Partners Ltd in 2001. Now that Isabel is thriving, she has some tips to those who aspire to go above and perhaps want to try something new.

When I started my career, there weren’t many women in the City; I would often be the only women in a room at an event and would regularly be side-lined in meetings.  Unfortunately, women sometimes do still face prejudices but there are lot more of us about – strength in numbers!  These are my tips to thrive in the workplace:

  • Study a subject you love – if you’re good at something you’ll feel great about yourself, and that confidence will shine through, which is more important than anything else.
  • Put yourself on the line – don’t be afraid of being different or of failure/setbacks as they’ll help you grow and be stronger – it is a cliché, but we learn from mistakes.
  • Ask for help – people love giving advice and are more likely to support you going forward plus you’ll learn quickly.
  • Read everything – you never know where ideas may come from so continuously educate yourself.
  • Embrace diversity – acknowledge that everyone is different and have different strengths that can be utilised – many of the most successful companies have very diverse teams.
  • Be brave – have a go at any challenge – if you read a job description that you don’t quite hit but like the sound of, put yourself forward anyway.

Finally, when I set up St Brides Partners, I drafted a list of core values for employees to follow – I think these are a good guideline of life in general:

  • Pursue discovery – be a sponge, embrace learning and challenge yourself
  • Deliver excellence – aspire to generate perfect work
  • Be humble and mindful – speak to others as you would like to be spoken to, even in moments of deep frustration
  • Embrace honesty and openness – we all have a voice, be confident in yours
  • Be passionate and determined – create and share fresh ideas without barriers
  • Accept responsibility – do not blame others for your own disappointments
  • Be kind – compassion and goodwill breed happiness

Financial PR isn’t rocket science; it entails hard work, common sense, and innovation. Financial PR isn’t rocket science; it entails hard work, common sense, and innovation.  The hours can be long and eat into your evenings and weekends, but the rewards are there too.  Salaries are better than in other PR sectors, and, in my particular area, AIM (growth businesses on the London Stock Exchange), you’ll work with some really interesting entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of business/science.  My current clients include a lithium hydroxide project in Europe, an infrastructure cybersecurity business in the US, and an investment fund focused on investing in women-led businesses in the UK. 

The hours can be long and eat into your evenings and weekends, but the rewards are there too.  Salaries are better than in other PR sectors, and, in my particular area, AIM (growth businesses on the London Stock Exchange), you’ll work with some really interesting entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of business/science.  My current clients include a lithium hydroxide project in Europe, an infrastructure cybersecurity business in the US, and an investment fund focused on investing in women-led businesses in the UK. 

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