Jo Fisher is an award winning business owner and a person who’s been instrumental in helping women advance their careers.
In this interview with the The Constant Investor, Jo talks about the philosophy that has driven her own personal growth, and that of her company.
Starting out in the IT industry two themes emerged that have echoed throughout Jo’s impressive life and career; the power of technology and the strength of diversity in leadership.
“My first five years were in the IT industry as a Cobol programmer of all things. But it wasn’t as fulfilling as actually being out there talking to people and finding out about businesses and organisations and what makes leaders tick.”
“I also tried to enable and facilitate other women coming into the organisations I was in because there were so few in the technology sector at the time, that was one of my personal passions, which of course has led to starting this business up in 2002.”
Jo had a clear approach to her own business, Jo Fisher, from the beginning.
“I saw there were very few women who were advancing into leadership roles.
“I believe executive search firms play a role in how women and other minority groups are encouraged to be considered for leadership roles, and I didn’t see that happen.”
“So, I started a firm that cared as much about the candidate as the client, and supported and encouraged the candidate in particular if they were people that wouldn’t have otherwise come forward for the role. That was absolutely the philosophy of the firm.”
As well as a natural inclination towards enterprise Jo also gathered some of the skills needed to succeed in running a business.
“I had started charities in a volunteer capacity. I’d learnt over the years in those groups how to bring people together, how to get consensus around the table, how to take the lead role, and those were things I loved doing.”
“The MBA was invaluable for understanding the financials and aspects of marketing. It was a brilliant base. The way Deacon offered it at the time, by distance, it was a practical way of undertaking something that’s quite heavy.”
Putting her experience to use Jo tells us about the bumps as well as the triumphs.
“You learn very early in business that cash flow is king, so having your finger on the pulse there is very important. I have a great finance manager, I get weekly reports now, but in the early days I’d be looking at it every day.”
Now, 15 years in and over 1500 executive search engagements later the accolades have started to pour in for Jo Fisher Executive.
“The Victorian Telstra Business Women’s award success was a wonderful milestone to be recognised for getting to a stage where of all our executive search engagements, which is now into the 1500’s, almost 50 per cent of those appointments have been women and that’s a very proud statistic. ”