Holly Butterworth heads up the Camms Services Delivery team in the UK, Europe and North America, leading software implementations in governance, risk, compliance, project and strategic management. She is instrumental in partnering with Camms customers to ensure their objectives are met and solutions are deployed, rolled out and utilised successfully. Holly has been part of the Camms team for five years, rising through the ranks having started as a graduate consultant, and has extensive experience in what makes a successful GRC implementation.
In your time working within the GRC sector, have you noticed any change in the representation of women among the people you’ve met and worked with?
The global conversation around equal representation between men and women has gained momentum since I joined Camms. This includes women in the wider tech industry as well as the GRC space – from representation on Boards to equal pay.
Since starting at Camms I think the representation of women in the GRC industry has been relatively strong. However, it still reflects society in that we remain less represented than men who also fill most leadership roles. For example, while several of our clients employ female Chief Risk Officers, they are more the exception than the rule.
From my experience of working with a variety of clients across industries, I believe the tide is slowly turning. For example, one of our largest and most seamless implementations has been for a global pharmaceuticals company, whose Chief Risk Officer (CRO) is a woman. One of the most difficult aspects of global implementation is getting stakeholders to agree on the requirements.
This company avoided this common roadblock thanks to the CRO’s ability to get stakeholders to collaborate and make informed decisions on time. She also aligned other areas of the business to the Camms implementation and standardised the requirements across relevant departments. So, not only did she act as a GRC leader; she led cross-functionally as well – with outstanding results.
I’m hopeful this representation will continue to improve amid the introduction of progressive work-life balance policies that allow women to become a mother in parallel with their careers. We can’t rest on our laurels; we must sustain the conversation about female representation and equality in the workplace.
You started at Camms as a Graduate Consultant and have risen up the ranks to Regional VP of Services. Do you feel you’ve faced any hurdles as a woman advancing her career throughout that time?
While I haven’t faced any hurdles as a woman in my career to date, I’m still relatively young and don’t have any dependents, so one of the biggest challenges is probably ahead of me: starting a family – which links back to the importance of work-life balance for women in the workplace.
This poses the question: Will I be able to maintain my professional momentum? I recently heard prominent businesswoman Karen Brady mention a worrying statistic: 54,000 pregnant women are forced out of their jobs each year – that’s about one in nine working pregnant women.
I’ve been lucky that my professional drive and ambition have been supported by both my family and the colleagues I have worked with during my career so far, both male and female – giving me every opportunity to grow.
The people at Camms – from the founder to my teammates – have always been supportive of me and given me opportunities. Unfortunately, not every woman is lucky enough to benefit from these foundations during their career.
I believe our careers are an extension of the society we live in. Therefore, I think the stereotypes women often face during their upbringing are perpetuated in the workplace. For example, the book Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, accentuates that women are not preconditioned to be confident at work due to the emotional shackles applied to them by the gender stereotypes they experience whilst growing up.
Equally, there are positive traits that women have been proved to be more adept at displaying than men that can be harnessed in a professional context – such as empathy, which is a real advantage when managing people.
Could you tell us a bit more about Camms, your work for the company and how that fits into the GRC ecosystem?
Camms is a provider of SaaS GRC software. We also specialise in strategic, project and portfolio management solutions. All of which combine to create an ecosystem in which GRC-informed decisions are the norm.
Many of our clients, prior to implementing our software, were hamstrung by a siloed approach to GRC management, as they attempted to manage each element separately. We also work with global clients who previously lacked synergy when attempting to manage GRC across different regions.
My team is responsible for the successful implementation of Camms’ software , and to help our clients get value from the platform and their investment. This underpins the goal of adopting the platform: to drive better decision-making through gaining a centralised view of their governance, risk and compliance portfolio and helping clients to leverage real-time visibility of risk data and compliance obligations within our integrated GRC suite.
Camms was one of our sponsors for the 2021 Women in GRC Awards. How do you think awards programs like this help raise the visibility of women working in the GRC field?
These awards are a great vehicle for celebrating women in GRC and highlighting the need to achieve equality between women and men in the industry – and beyond. They also encourage women to work and excel in this dynamic space, addressing this traditional imbalance in the process.
This ability to inspire women in an industry that is increasingly relevant to the daily operations of organisations can only enhance the GRC space – and the businesses that take it seriously. This is even more imperative in the wake of the pandemic, which has highlighted the role effective GRC plays in organisational resilience.
Is there any advice you would like to share with women who are just starting out in their careers?
Don’t take no for an answer and be confident. Sometimes we don’t ask – but as the old saying goes: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. What’s the worst than can happen? If your request is reasonable, people will be willing to listen and help. If this doesn’t transpire, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
Also, be an information sponge by saying yes to everything at the start of your career that will enrich you professionally and personally – from attending courses and speaking engagements to taking on more responsibility.
In terms of excelling in a leadership role, I take my personal brand and that of my team seriously – and aim to continue adding credibility. To achieve this, I communicate both the contribution of the team and my contribution to the delivery of client goals – so the wider business understands the value we create. This helps us to receive recognition for our work and gain trust on merit – rather than taking it for granted.
This highlights the importance of teamwork, which is vital to success. Surround yourself with a team of people you trust, respect and enjoy working with. During this process, don’t be afraid to hire people who are more experienced than you. If they have the right attitude and you are good at your job, they will enhance your team and you as a manager.