Our Head of Global Planning and Analytics, Julie Streich, shares the secrets to her career success.
Julie offers an insight into her passion for her current role – and talks about the journey she’s taken to get there.
How did you first get into Global Planning and Analytics? Tell us about your journey.
My career in Finance started when a Chief Financial Offer (CFO) decided to take a chance on a non-traditional candidate for a role on his team. With a background in marketing and field sales, I first engaged in business strategy and performance optimisation, before moving on to forecasting and – six years later – I became the CFO for a North American based Manufacturing firm with a scope that included Procurement, IT, and HR.
After several more years and a few different roles, I joined Centrica as the CFO for the Residential business. Over the past five and a half years with Centrica, I’ve also had the opportunity to lead Corporate Finance in North America and serve as the Finance Director for North America Home before moving into the role I have today.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
In my role, not only do I have the opportunity to work with a great team in leading our Finance Transformation, there is an expectation that we create a fundamentally different and more efficient Finance Planning & Analytics function – so for me it’s all about taking a long-term view. Yes, there’s a focus on reducing costs, but just as important, we’re making sure the business is equipped with the tools and information they need to make better decisions. I love the fact that we’re making a real, sustainable difference.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
The best piece of advice I can offer is don’t sell yourself short. Have confidence in your capabilities and understand how they translate between seemingly unrelated tasks.
When I applied for a role as VP of Finance at a national bank, I didn’t focus on the fact I’d never worked in banking before. I focused on the fact that my experience covered 75-80% of what the role required. I felt good about the cultural fit, and I was confident that by engaging the team I would lead and asking the right questions, the rest would fall into place. During the interview process, I focused on illustrating the similarities between manufacturing and banking rather than pointing out the obvious gaps in my resume when it came to banking experience. Too often women sell themselves short by determining they are not qualified because they don’t check 100% of the boxes. 100% is overrated! Get out there and raise your hand!
What was your dream job as a child and why?
Had I been born with the talent, I would love to have been a professional dancer. Contemporary and hip hop would be my genres of choice. Being paid to exercise for a living while traveling and entertaining . . . who could ask for more!