“Running a business we set goals and targets: if you don’t measure it there’s a sense that it’s not important,” ~Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread

Summary: Alison Brittain studied Business studies at the University of Stirling and got an MBA from Cambridge University’s Judge Institute. Her first job was as a cashier in Barclays after joining the company’s graduate trainee scheme. She stayed at Barclays for two decades and rose to senior roles such as director of Barclays and Woolwich Retail Networks, and managing director of Barclays Small Business Banking. Alison joined Whitbread from Lloyds Banking Group, where she was Group Director of their Retail Division, with responsibility for the Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland retail branch networks, remote and intermediary channels and products, along with the Retail Business Banking and the wealth businesses. Prior to joining Lloyds Bank, Alison was Executive Director for Retail Distribution and Board Director at Santander UK PLC. She previously held senior roles at Barclays Bank. Alison was been named ‘Business Woman of the Year’ in this year’s Veuve Clicquot awards.

Nationality: British

Company: Whitbread

Q: What is a tip you give on transitioning to senior/upper-level positions? on businessinsider.com

A: It takes too much energy to be unauthentic, and to fake it all the time is even more excruciating. Authentic leadership is key. People are going to be critical and judgmental of you. I suspect that given there are 7 of us [female CEOs in the FTSE 100], we are rare creatures, we also particularly interesting to observe.