The Short Cut:

A quick fire chat about working life with Jo Geraghty

Jo Geraghty, Cultural Change Partner at Culture Consultancy

At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences. From breakthrough career moments, to best ever advice, how to deal with stress and the women that inspire them.

The Short Cut designed to bring you a snapshot of our members’ working lives. Today we’re speaking to Jo Geraghty, Cultural Change Partner at Culture Consultancy.

Tell us about your breakthrough career moment

I had a little bit of a journey at Goldman Sachs. I initially joined as a Project Manager for IT within HR, a few years down the line I was then invited to be Interim Head of HR for France as I was the only senior in HR who spoke French! After that I went on to be Head of HR for Switzerland and it was an incredible opportunity.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

You don’t need to work hard; you just need to work smart. It’s about focusing on the ‘exam question’ – what is it you are trying to achieve? What’s the best way to get there? Focus on that rather than trying to be the best at the job role you’re doing.

Have you ever felt held back as a women?

I started off at Lehman’s on the trading floor – an environment that was 95% male – a world away from the all-girls Catholic School I had come from. As I became more senior, I realised the importance of communication and the way you present and conduct yourself.

As a woman in an environment like that trading floor, it could be hard to get your voice heard, but then you couldn’t be assertive otherwise you’d be labelled ‘aggressive’. It was an art to learn all these unspoken rules and codes for being a successful woman.

How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?

I swim! I have a mindfulness practice, but that doesn’t work if you only practice mindfulness when you are stressed, you need to be doing it all the time and working on it, like muscle.

Do you have any hobbies to keep you busy in your spare time?

Wild swimming, in the summer you’ll catch me at Hampstead Ponds.

I feel empowered when…

… I’m creating something new. I love it when I get to see a new angle of how to help people, and then I get to go away and create and develop something for that.

The first thing I do in the morning …

…I read the news. I usually scan The Times, The Economist, and then something broader like Sky News for any big stories. It’s a habit I have had since my early days in corporate – there was no way you could go on to the trading floor without knowing exactly what was going on in the world. 

The woman everyone should know about is…

Nadine Hachach-Haram, she’s founder of Proximie which is developing tech to allow surgeons to virtually ‘scrub in’ to any operating room in the world to share skills in real time and improve the equity of care. It’s life-saving stuff.

The world would be a better place…

…when all workplaces are fully inclusive, and businesses are authentically sustainable – not just paying lip service but doing things because they really do care.

Where is your favourite place in the world? 

The Swiss Alps, I love to go skiing with my family and friends.

One of Jo's favourite places, the Swiss Alps