International Women's Day - Interview with Laura Parkes, Senior Director Human Resources GIS

Frazer Jones is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2017. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they have been bold for change #BeBoldForChange

Frazer Jones interviewed Laura Parkes, Senior Director Human Resources GIS at Gap Inc. Global Supply Chain

Laura Parkes

Who inspires you and why?
My friends. I have met some amazing women over the past 10 years in Hong Kong in both social and professional settings. We see each other through thick and thin. I feel very blessed to be surround by so many smart, caring, capable and generous women.

What advice would you give aspiring women in your industry?
Learn the business and network in and outside of your industry. HR functional expertise are important, but knowing the business and knowing the talent is key to building credibility as an HR partner.

What would your advice be to women who are trying to achieve their career ambitions?
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

How do you achieve work life balance?
I think the only person that can really give you license to achieve work-life balance is yourself. Looking after myself involves being confident in what I contribute, drawing boundaries and accepting the feeling of discomfort that comes with saying No sometimes. In pleasing yourself, you will displease others but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are not doing a good job.

I try to maintain the basics: healthy food, sleep, exercise… I’ve learned the hard way that when life gets busy and any of these three are out of sync then it quickly goes downhill! Realistically I cannot always maintain a consistent level of work/life balance. I travel frequently and my role involves early/late calls. This being said, I aim to work smartly and flexibly – i.e. I try to focus my time and energy on activities that add the most value and I empower my team members as much as possible. I do calls during taxi journeys, I conduct meetings over breakfast or over lunch… anything that gives me an hour or two back earlier or later in the day for the activities I need outside of work: time with my fiancé, my music, volunteering, yoga, friends.