Judilyn Beaumont is a financial services lawyer and the General Counsel and Company Secretary at ClearView Wealth. Beaumont has over 20 years of experience working across private practice, regulatory and in-house roles. She has worked for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Ashurst, Herbert Smith Freehills, Asterton and Suncorp.
What led you to specialise in financial services?
There are forks in the road that change your life. Most of what I’ve done has been because I’ve taken whatever opportunities are thrown my way. I didn’t think too deeply about it, I just took the opportunity and ran with it. It’s always taken me in interesting directions. Early on in my career I got thrown an opportunity from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and thought why not? That’s led me to where I am now.
What has been a particular career highlight?
My highlight was also a challenge. Right before I had my youngest child, my boss rang and asked me to lead a team. She knew that I was about to have a baby and wanted me to start in three months’ time. I almost turned it down because I had a small baby but by the same token, it was a great opportunity and my boss had confidence in me. I decided to do it but on my own terms. I negotiated a routine – working from eight until two in the office, then working from home in the afternoon with the baby. This was back when working from home was less common.
How can organisations support their employees in juggling work and family?
I think employers should assess people on their output, not on what hours they do or where they work. A lot of it’s about trust. Trusting that someone’s going to deliver what they’ve been asked to do. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve always had supportive managers, not everybody does. I think employers should be more trusting. Not everyone does the right thing but if you’re close enough to your people, you get a sense of whether they’re delivering or not.
With five kids at home, how do you and your partner manage it all?
I guess my answer to that is you have to accept that you need help sometimes. I wanted to raise my children by myself but I knew that I couldn’t do it without the help of a babysitter or childcare. My partner is a barrister and has a heavy workload too but we’re 50/50 at home. He’s always been very hands on. I try not to be too much of a perfectionist in my home life. Similarly, I try my best at work but don’t judge myself harshly if I’m not perfect.
What do you think makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone who’s authentic. People don’t trust leaders who don’t show themselves. I’m very personal with my team. You need to be able to step into other people’s shoes. I find I can relate to my team because a lot of them are parents and a lot of them come from different racial backgrounds. It’s also important to hold people to account. Giving your people confidence when they’ve done something well but also giving constructive feedback when it’s necessary. Sometimes people fail to get something and don’t grow or develop because of it. You have to be courageous and able to deliver difficult feedback sometimes.
Is mentoring important to you?
Absolutely. I mentor at UTS, which is where I graduated. I’ve done roleplays with young lawyers and given feedback on how to speak, present and deal with difficult clients or bosses. In my experience, young lawyers often just put their heads down and think someone will eventually notice them doing a good job. The fact of the matter is not everyone notices unless you’re more overt. Humility is important but showing that you’ve got confidence in yourself is one of the biggest things I’ve had to mentor people on because without that people may not have confidence in you.