Today is International Women’s Day – a day celebrating the achievements of women across the world. The day is an opportunity to empower, unite and inspire women that will drive positive change for future female generations to come.
We celebrate International Women’s Day with The Royal Mint’s first female CEO and Deputy Master of the Mint, Anne Jessopp. We caught up with Anne to discuss how she feels about being the first female CEO of The Royal Mint, how she plans on celebrating today and her advice to women who aspire to be the future Chief Executives of the world.
February 2018 saw the appointment of Anne Jessopp as the first female Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, after she previously served as acting Chief Executive since October 2017.
Hi Anne, tell us about your time so far at The Royal Mint
I began my journey at The Royal Mint ten years ago as HR Director, helping it to transition from civil service status into a business. Following on from that I took on the responsibility of looking after a number of the important central functions in the organisation, for example, the central business services unit.
Then came the exciting role of leading the very busy, extremely successful commemorative coin consumer business. I have overseen its expansion to include a number of additional services such as our Collector Services division, incorporating the new Historical Coins, Valuation and Authentication and Secure Storage services.
It was never in my career plan to become a Chief Executive, but as I developed more skills, when the post became vacant I felt that I was ready to take on the challenge. It seemed a natural next step for me.
What’s the day to day role of The Royal Mint’s CEO?
My role at The Royal Mint is so varied! I think the variety is one of the things that has surprised me. In any one day I can be discussing a new business idea, meeting a customer, going onto the shop floor and into the offices and sales floor to talk to member of our 1,000-person team to hear how it’s going, or chairing an executive strategy meeting.
What makes it so interesting is the fact that we have a number of different businesses. Apart from circulating and commemorative coin production, The Royal Mint’s bullion business is respected across the world, trading both wholesale and online via royalmintbullion.com. Our thriving tourist attraction in South Wales, UK – The Royal Mint Experience – has welcomed over 150,000 visitors in its first two years. This means a constantly changing and varied set of challenges, which is fascinating.
We are enjoying a particularly exciting time in terms of the sort of coins we have been producing, too – our day to day themes and stories vary hugely. The highlights for me have been the old and new commemorative £1 coins, celebrations of royal events such as the Sapphire Jubliee, Longest Reigning Monarch and Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
A particular favourite is the wonderful Beatrix Potter coin collection, with Peter Rabbit and other characters and, of course, the Great British Coin Hunt A to Z coins – quite a departure from The Royal Mint’s traditional standard themes, but extremely popular with collectors.
How does it feel to become the first female CEO of The Royal Mint?
I am delighted to be appointed to lead this unique and important British organisation. I have had the privilege to work for The Royal Mint for almost 10 years and it is testament to the great colleagues and opportunities I have had, that I have been able to develop the skills that enable me to take on this role.
I believe that regardless of being male or female, every person would do this job differently. I think we need to value every person for the attributes they bring to the job, and it’s only when you bring a team of skilled people together, be they male or female, that you actually make the most of all those skills on offer, so a mix of attributes is a good thing to equip us all to face those challenges.
Engagement and vision is key within an organisation and people play an important role in delivering success. This will be a priority to me when leading The Royal Mint. I plan to lead The Royal Mint to reinterpret itself for the 21st Century, and this involves growing our commemorative coin and precious metals businesses based on our authenticity, security and design heritage and delivering the opportunities that the changing world of coins presents.
Do you have any advice for Future Female Generation?
My advice to women and girls who are aspiring to become chief executive roles is to have the confidence to be yourself, learn from others and spend time enjoying the role you are in; that will be the best way of securing the next role of the career ladder.
Do you have any plans for International Women’s Day?
My appointment is very recent, so I have found myself in the media spotlight as a result of that, particularly as the start of my new role has fallen close to International Women’s Day. Apart from that, I have a full day in the office and then I think I will take my two daughters out, who are just at the start of their careers – the women of the future.
This year’s International Women’s Day is especially important since it has been a 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed through Parliament. Most significantly, women over 30 and ‘of property’ received the right to vote for the first time in history. The passing of this act was a significant step towards gender equality and is something women around the world continue to strive for. We mark 100 years, on a UK 50p coin.
We would love to hear about the inspirational women in your lives that have had an impact on your life. Share your International Women’s Day stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.