Interview with Senior Internal Auditor, Iris Hughes
Iris Hughes, a Senior Internal Auditor in the Consulting team, based in London.
Hi Iris, can you tell us about your career journey so far?
I read Business Studies at university. My third year of studies involved a year placement with the London Borough of Brent Internal Audit unit, so after I graduated, I continued to pursue a career in internal audit – mainly within the public sector. I had a brief experience with a major retailer last year but decided it wasn’t for me. Being at Mazars is like putting on an old pair of shoes – a perfect fit! I’ve been at Mazars for almost six months now, which has been challenging at times but I’m loving it.
Who has enabled you get to where you are today?
My mother’s encouragement and faith in me to take opportunities on offer. Also, my manager’s encouragement, warmth and supportiveness.
What motivates you, and what values guide you?
Making a difference – I love that with each audit, we can make a difference to enhance processes within the organisations we work with. I think the main value that guides me is leaving a good impression, as I’ve always been taught to leave a good impression, so this motivates me to do my job well.
Over your career who have been the people that have mentored or sponsored you? Why and how did they have an impact?
My manager at Mazars (Abbie Francis-Pike), has similar traits to my previous manager when I worked at Bentley Jennison. They both give recognition for good work and provide guidance where they see opportunity for development.
What has been the most defining point in your career to date?
Working as a contractor for the Department for Communities and Local Government over a seven year period was the most defining point of my career to date because I felt well respected, valued and rewarded. I took charge of my own development within the field of work and as a result I was often consulted for advice from clients and peers – it was rewarding.
What advice would you give to other women for growing and progressing in this organisation/starting their careers?
Growing and progressing within Mazars is about demonstrating your capability to do your job well. To get ahead of the game, you need to take responsibility for your own learning and career development. You need to take the initiative to learn new things and not wait for opportunities to come to you.
Finally, what can we at Mazars do to achieve gender parity?
All credit to Mazars for its agile working policy. This gives me greater flexibility to manage my work and family commitments. It’s definitely a step in the right direction for improving gender parity.
I believe in setting plans for everything. We can start with a realistic target for gender parity at all levels and grades within the firm – only then would we have a base to monitor our progress. This could also be extended to Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people within senior posts. It would be good to see senior posts filled with people who are reflective of our diverse clients and society.
Thanks to Iris for sharing her journey with us.