March 4, 2024 Celebrating International Women's Day with Kate Clouston

By Kate Clouston

In honour of International Women's Day on Friday 8th March, we have invited women from our leadership team to share their inspiring stories and journeys.

Celebrating International Women's Day with Kate Clouston

Each year, International Women's Day is celebrated globally to reflect on progress made, to raise awareness on change needed and to celebrate the women around us. This year's theme is #InspireInclusion.

Profiling women from our leadership team, we will be learning about their career journey, their proudest achievement since joining Oak, what women inspire them and how they are committed to inspire inclusion.

To start, we will be hearing from Kate Clouston, Oak's Group Chief Commercial Officer. 

Can you tell us about yourself and your career journey so far?

I am an ex-American Canadian Brit and moved to beautiful Guernsey in 2014 from Singapore. My first ever job was at the Natural History Museum in London. A friend referred me to the Department of Zoology for an internship and I mistakenly thought 'Zoos--> Animals' great! Turned out it was the Entomology Department (bugs!) where they asked me to top up the formaldehyde in specimen jars. As you can imagine, I did one and never went back into that room again. Instead, I digitised all of their research from hard copy files and created a database for them. From there it’s been quite a circuitous route through Old Masters art at Sotheby’s, political analysis, think tanks, research, Master’s Degrees, MBAs and a sojourn in Asia before I finally landed in Guernsey. I had the pleasure of working at Guernsey Finance for four years followed by some great industry experience at Collas Crill and Intertrust. I’m delighted to have joined Oak as CCO in December 2023.

What has been your proudest achievement so far since joining Oak?

A lot has happened in three months, but I would say successfully recruiting and welcoming the very talented new Marketing and BD team. It was absolutely a joint effort across the business and the team has hit the ground running! Some very exciting new members of the team will be joining shortly.

What is the greatest advice you have been given?

Don’t complain about where you sit and always look for ways to say yes instead of reasons to say no.

Which women inspire you the most and why?

My mum has inspired me by her intrepid approach to life and adventurous spirit. Her kindness and care for everyone in her universe is inspiring every day and a reminder that you don't need to put others down to raise yourself up. I'm also very inspired by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, hosts of the podcast My Favorite Murder. They kickstarted the true crime comedy podcast genre and created an entire network out of a personal passion, maintaining grace and humility throughout the unbelievable journey they've been on.

What ways are you committed to inspire inclusion?

Inclusion has so many facets but the one closest to me is supporting other women on their career journeys. Reminding women that all of our journeys are different--and most importantly, not linear, is so important. Growing up, I thought that you had to stick with the same company for 25 years and have a corner office before you 'made' it. As I gain more life experience I understand that success looks different for everyone and that's absolutely ok. Women in particular put so much pressure on themselves to do everything 'perfectly', when really we should be proud of our individual views and approaches.

Do you have any advice you would give to other women starting out in the industry?

Many people will make assumptions (especially if you are a young woman) that you’re not as competent or smart as you actually are. Don’t be afraid to take up space—your voice counts and it’s important that you make it heard. Women often wait until they have 100% confidence that they can do something before they go for it; don't wait for the perfect moment because it will never come. Back yourself and believe that you can achieve your goals!

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