Isabel Fernandez

Isabel Fernandez is Chief Commercial Officer – GE Capital, EMEA, London. In this interview she shares her experience working for GE.

What is your current role?

Chief Commercial Officer of GE Capital EMEA

How did you start your working life?

After graduating from law school, I started as a management trainee working for a large bank. My first job off-programme was as an analyst for large corporate clients in the bank.

What has been the journey to that role in terms of other career milestones?

Whenever presented with two opportunities, I have always taken the more challenging role, the one where the learning curve was highest. Making the change to GE was a defining moment, as the company is as much focused on your performance as it is on the potential you have to become a future leader. It never ceases to develop and challenge you.

When did you decide you wanted to take this career route?

I never took the conscious decision, though I always looked for the challenge. Careers tend to be better defined in hindsight than when you are in the midst of one.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

Working in a culturally diverse environment with amazing people; GE’s culture is very down to earth and it has very talented people.

Have you had an important mentor along the way?

Most of my mentors have been informal relationships, where I had the opportunity to seek advice at many points in my career.

How has GE helped you progress in your career?

GE has invested tremendously in my training and development, has supported the GE Women’s Network, where I had my first leadership roles and given me a lot of exposure across the company globally.

What tips and advice would you give to young women starting out on their career today?

Firstly, not worry too much about potential compromises you think you may need to make later in your career (dual careers, parenthood, care for elderly etc), as many of the perceived problems get resolved naturally. Never to have regret or guilt and try to really enjoy what you do. When you enjoy something, you spend more time on it and get better naturally.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Still working in a diverse environment, with a challenging job, could be anywhere in the world!

In your words, why do you think GE has been named one of the Times Top 50 employers for women?

An active recruiter of female talent, an organisation with true focus on diversity and a culture of meritocracy where it matters less where or when you work but rather what results you achieve.