Syreeta Brown, group chief people and communications officer at Virgin Money Group, shares her career journey and top leadership tips.
Group chief people and communications officer, Virgin Money
November 2021 – present
I am learning every day. One of the big achievements in this role so far has been to lead the agenda on future of work as part of our ‘A Life More Virgin’ colleague proposition, which has reinvented how we attract and engage our colleagues and improve how we deliver for our customers.
Read other HR career journeys:
How I got here: Helen Beurier, Zopa
How I got here: Kate Howdon, eStar Truck and Van
How I got here: Patrick Caldwell, Send
Managing director, head of HR, global functions, operations and technology, EMEA, Citi
March 2021 – November 2021
This role covered 20,000 employees in more than 52 countries and so cultural fluency was a must. Critical to the work was building a great HR team who worked with me to reinvent how we collaborated with our partners across the region and other parts of the world.
Various roles, including managing director, global head of talent acquisition strategy and programmes, Citi
November 2010 – March 2021
One of the most exciting roles I have held. My biggest achievement was a business case for investment in a talent acquisition team focused on increasing diversity effectiveness.
Over a two-year period this was a significant contributor to Citi achieving its diversity goals around hiring – internally and externally.
Director, performance management, BT Group
June 2009 – October 2010
My first Centre of Excellence role where I led on a specialism in HR. I was responsible for refreshing BT’s approach to performance management globally which involved working with the executive committee and national unions.
Vice president, HR, global services, BT
March 2007 – June 2009
Achievements included developing an HR strategy that focused on increasing capability and creating efficiency in how resources were deployed.
Head of HR, group finance, procurement and supply chain and BT Fleet, BT
March 2005 – March 2007
I worked with the CFO of BT to lead on HR agenda for the business areas he was responsible for. Key achievements in this role were working on the first ever outsourcing agenda for BT finance which moved certain capabilities to India.
Various HR roles, BT
July 1998 – March 2005
I joined BT on the HR graduate programme and was quickly promoted. In the following four years I worked across various areas of the business. One of my key achievements was developing strategies to ensure the collaboration of sales and customer service teams.
Top three career tips
1. Never think that senior roles mean you can’t change gears.** Learning is life-long and it’s important to continue to explore and create new avenues.
2.The team is everything. If you aspire to be in a leadership role, ensure you become an effective leader and team-player
3.Setbacks are good for you. These were the wise words said to me by one of my HR leaders very early on in my career.
This article was first published in the July/August 2023 issue of HR magazine. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.