Emmy-Lou Hamley has a background in health and a depth of experience in human behaviour; yet it was sheer frustration that got her to where she is today – a senior associate at PWC’s Experience Centre.
“I saw so many people working a political role, people who were so fed up with work and the way that work is. Horrible bosses, crappy hours, and circumstances that didn’t allow flexibility or any scope to be creative or feel like they were human,” Emmy-Lou said.
“That made me really upset and I thought, an organisation has a responsibility to look after people and create responsible organisations. That thinking made me flip into looking at what corporations actually do.”
Emmy-Lou then set herself a goal to research the cultures of corporations. She was attracted to PWC due to their core values.
“By core values, I mean that their prime core value is one of care and that was amazing to me. I thought it’d be interesting to see how they translate that on a day to day basis. Since joining, the key thing I’ve noticed is people genuinely care about others. We have an opportunity to help other businesses do the same thing,” Emmy-Lou said.
“It’s one thing to operate a certain way, but it’s another thing to help them to do that themselves. So, one of the main reasons why the role I’m in is so great, is I get to perform really well every day because we have a very flexible way of working.”
“I have a young baby and I found that we’re very respected around our families, we’re very well looked after and have values that protect us. But what I see when I work with clients is they don’t have the same. So there’s a lot of work to be done to helping organisations to do that themselves.”
Emmy-Lou loves to spread the word that all companies must protect their most valuable asset; their people.
“Take a look at Uber; they’ve made so much money and have an amazing business model but they’ve fallen over when it comes to their people (in regards to sexual harassment claims).”
“Take a look at Uber; they’ve made so much money and have an amazing business model but they’ve fallen over when it comes to their people (in regards to sexual harassment claims). It’s great to have this huge business, but if your internal work is in trouble, that’s a lot to bear in the start-up culture. A lot of the time it’s a male dominated issue that’s not flexible around the differences between genders and cultures.”
What advice do you have for women, particularly new mothers in start-ups?
“People often ask me why I’m so chilled with a four-month-old baby and I was out of the house quite quickly after she was born. I think it’s about not having expectations. Too many women go into parenthood with too many expectations of what their life will be like post-baby; for example, what their body will be like. So when you set yourself up with expectations, you’re disappointed if they don’t come through,” Emmy -Lou said.
“That can impact on your confidence. But, for me, everything was a blessing and a goal achieved. If I got a ten minute shower, that was a blessing! I didn’t have expectations that I will sleep through the night, so it’s important, in life and in business, to recognise the reality and feel okay with it.”
Emmy-Lou is also a big believer in backing yourself.
“Yes, you must always back yourself, whether you’re in a start-up or you’re a new mum. Also some advice for the new mums: don’t spend time reading all the baby books – remember, your baby hasn’t read them!”