Jyoti Rathi is no stranger to the City, having previously worked at White & Case, BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and General Electric. Since 2009 Jyoti has taken two career breaks to raise her children alongside focusing on personal interests. Here we ask how she found Mizuho EMEA’s Returners Programme and how having a career break helps her “bring something slightly different to the table”.
“I wanted to take those early years off to be with my children” says Jyoti, Vice President, Legal & Compliance and mother of three. “I’ve always wanted to believe you can have it all, but that involves making choices and that process is different for everyone”.
During her second career break Jyoti decided she wanted to return to the City. Speaking of the decision to re-enter the workplace she says “it’s absolutely normal to have questions, doubts and some hesitation. In my experience, returners often sell themselves short but in reality bring a wealth of practical life experience, a ‘can-do’ attitude and multiple transferable skills into a workplace, alongside their core professional competence. My cohort of returners at Mizuho is testament to that”.
According to a 2018 report by the Government Equalities Office there are currently 2.1 million people out of the labour market caring for their home or family members, 89% of whom are women.
“I, like many women, wear many different hats in life; some of mine are mum, lawyer, cake-baker and ‘last minute holiday-packer extraordinaire’. Being able to maintain those roles alongside a fulfilling professional career is of utmost importance to me and a source of great joy.”
"I, like many women, wear many different hats in life; some of mine are mum, lawyer, cake-baker and ‘last minute holiday-packer extraordinaire’."
Vice President, Legal & Compliance
The Mizuho EMEA Returners Programme aims to enable people to step back into a rewarding career after a career break of two or more years. Unlike many City returners programmes, returner positions at Mizuho are permanent jobs, and flexible and hybrid working options are available. The bespoke development programme includes tailored coaching and mentoring support. Returners are helped to build their network through a programme of structured introductions and meetings, and are given technical and professional training, including ‘upskilling’ in technology or regulatory changes.
A meaningful return to work
Speaking of the decision to re-enter the workplace, Jyoti says “going back into the workplace had to be something that was fulfilling, meaningful and worthwhile. This opportunity at Mizuho came up which was just perfect and ticked all of my boxes”.
The Mizuho EMEA Returners programme offers colleagues coaching and mentoring as well as technical and professional skills development and networking opportunities. “Mizuho was fully vested in the process and outlined very early on how they would coach and mentor me” says Jyoti.
"Mizuho was fully vested in the process and outlined very early on how they would coach and mentor me"
Vice President, Legal & Compliance
During the programme Jyoti was given one-to-one coaching, training and had a development schedule curated for her. She says that the support available to her from the Returners programme is ongoing: “They're always looking to see what else there might be on the horizon that can help me progress in my career”.
Jyoti was also given a mentor, which helped her make an immediate impact. “I was instantly visible and my mentor was proactive in arranging meetings and making introductions – I didn’t have to spend time trying to build relationships from scratch over Zoom, especially as I joined Mizuho during the pandemic”.
Jyoti wasn’t alone on the returners programme, talking about her fellow returners she adds, “we definitely walked through the process together and it’s been great to have other people in the cohort, to bounce ideas off and share experiences with”.
A squiggly career
Now, 18 months into her role in Mizuho EMEA’s Legal & Compliance department, Jyoti talks about how Mizuho champions a flexible work environment. “My manager is very good at saying to me ‘you manage your own time’. If I need to pause for a short break to do a school run when I’m working from home, my team knows that this will not impact my work productivity. That’s a dynamic that inspires you to be your best”.
Talking about her career journey to date, Jyoti describes it as “squiggly”.
“Life is not linear and at various stages there are competing demands on your time and differing priorities. ‘Squiggly’ is an endearing term for the route I’ve taken but it’s one walked by increasing numbers of people in the City”, but she also notes that “several people in my team have worked at Mizuho for 20 plus years, with them collectively holding over a century’s worth of knowledge; that’s a phenomenal testament to the institution and how much they must feel valued here”.
When reflecting on her career path to date, Jyoti adds “I bring a slightly different way of looking at things to the table, and having more of those diverse perspectives in a discussion allows new ideas to flourish”.
“I can't tell you how rewarding and how much of a confidence boost it is for someone returning to the workplace after a career break to be welcomed so wholeheartedly. Mizuho understands the value of untapped potential and has a truly enduring commitment to individual growth and development”.