We are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of The Women’s Organisation’s board of directors – Jayne Croft, a solicitor with Brabners LLP.
The Women’s Organisation’s charity and trading arms are both led by voluntary boards of trustees and directors who are drawn from the private, public and social economy sectors. We have always placed a strong emphasis on attracting and retaining a diverse board of trustees with the values, qualifications, skills and experience to set the organisations strategic direction and to oversee the effective stewardship of its resources and activities.
We sat down with the newest member of The WO’s board of directors, Jayne, to find out all about her, her work and how she became involved with The Women’s Organisation.
|Our newest Trustee – Jayne Croft|
Jayne Croft is a Corporate Solicitor at Brabners, a specialist commercial law firm who advise on all aspects of Corporate Law, and are a Top 100 law firm. Jayne has been with Brabners for nearly a year. Prior to this Jayne studied at Liverpool John Moores University, completing both a law degree and a masters before starting working as a paralegal at a legal aid firm.
‘From there I moved into litigation and it was then that I began training to be a solicitor. As well as my training I took my legal practice course as an evening class, and then qualified as a solicitor at Brabners.’
‘At Brabners, the work that I do is quite varied. I’m on the corporate side of things so this means I mostly deal with mergers and acquisitions (buying and selling businesses), raising funding for investment, setting up companies and giving advice on governance and incorporations.’
But this hasn’t always been Jayne’s career path, despite always having an interest in law. She told us; ‘I’ve always been interested in this topic – Ever since I was about 10 or 11, I was interested in the way that they law can be used to help people.’
Before qualifying as a solicitor, Jayne worked towards opening her own business. After graduating from her undergraduate degree in 2009 she found herself beginning her career in the middle of the credit crunch: ‘Any hope of getting a job was already small, and then it went from small to non-existent. It was then that I decided to do my masters and also looked into self-employment.’
|The Women’s Organisation Board Members; Jayne Croft, Sue Oshikanlu, Pat Shea-Halson, Gill Moglione and CEO Maggie O’Carroll|
‘At that point I wasn’t sure if staying in law was the right things to do, because the corporate and commercial sides of law really hit rock bottom alongside the recession. Lots of firms were closing or had stopped taking on people, so looking into self-employment seemed like a good idea. I found the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme at Liverpool John Moores University over the summer before I was due to start studying for my masters, applied and got a place.’
Jayne worked through the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme on her business idea but it sadly fell through as she struggled find the right premises. ‘To be honest, I spent the next year regretting not doing it, but then I fell back into law and realised that law was what I wanted to do. To try and study for a masters and open a business at the same time would have been really hard, so it probably worked out for the best, but at the time, that realisation was difficult.’
Business acumen must be in Jayne’s blood – not only is it something that she uses in her role at Brabners now, but it’s something that she grew up with – Jayne’s parents were both self-employed. ‘They had a market stall and then started manufacturing before going into retail. I remember my childhood was getting dragged from one market to another so it’s always seemed very normal to me, what with accountants and wholesalers coming round to the house all the time!’
How did Jayne end up becoming our newest board member? Jayne told us that she had been watching the organisation for a while and has always been interested in working with us. She said; ‘I always like to have some things going on outside of my work, and to try to do as much as I can for charities too. Previously I was on the board of governors’ at The Liverpool Women’s Hospital, so I’ve always tried to have that dimension to me, and subconsciously it’s always leaned towards places that promote equality, but I have a real interest in enterprise so this seemed like a natural move.’
Jayne met our CEO Maggie O’Carroll at the end of last year at a Roscoe Lecture on Eleanor Rathbone and started speaking to Maggie about opportunities within The Women’s Organisation board; ‘I said that I wanted to get involved and help out in any way that I could and that’s how it all came about.’
‘Because of the job that I do, I think that there is probably a lot that I can bring to the table. As well as this, I’ve got experience of being on boards previously, and have also been a service user so can relate to what people want and need from an organisation which I think is important.’
We are delighted to welcome Jayne Croft to the board of The Women’s Organisation and know that she is going to be a fantastic addition to a great team of board members. Thank you Jayne for taking the time to speak to us, and welcome to the family!