Also amusing in the Graun are the wonderfully unselfconscious words of Susan Rice, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland. She’s so terribly, terribly important that she has to put in a 15-hour working day.
“Home for me is Aberdeen, my head office is Edinburgh and I’m in London a couple of days a week because Lloyds TSB group HQ is there. So often I start my day very early to catch the first plane out of Scotland.”
“Whether I’m travelling by car or plane, I work the whole time. Because the job is very demanding, I use my time very efficiently. If I’m not flying, I get into my office very early because it gives me a chance to sort things out for the day. Meetings can start as early as 7am. From then on they’re usually back-to-back until the end of the day. Even 15-minute telephone calls need to be booked into my diary.”
Later she admits that
“You can’t work the way I do without being tremendously dependent on a number of people.”
yet she still hasn’t learned how to delegate or teleconference. Here’s the perfectly pooterish climax of her account:
“There are no slack days. The pace is frenetic the whole week. But it never gets to me. People say: ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ But I derive a great deal of energy from my work. So even if I have a work commitment on a Friday evening, I’m usually up for it.
“We have three children, including a daughter who is 15 and still at school, but because we live in Aberdeen – my husband is vice-chancellor of the university there – I’m not home most evenings. We try to guard our weekend time and spend one day hill walking, but often I have paperwork to do.”
“…And my husband’s a vice-chancellor, actually.” I suppose you could argue that if this is the kind of timetable a woman must follow to become the CEO of a large company in the UK then it’s simply idiot presenteeism that is the cause of the so-called glass ceiling: most British women aren’t stupid enough to work so inefficiently. Here’s a chart of Lloyds TSB’s share performance over the last five years. Not that it’ll make much difference to the daft bat’s gigantic pay-off when she retires—no doubt to meddle full-time in other people’s businesses through her membership of a diverse range of quangos.