In each issue, we introduce you to one of our mentors by telling you about their experience and giving you their answers to 3 questions, to include their own ‘top time-saving tip’.

Elizabeth Paris

Elizabeth Paris

Following a career in Investment Banking as a Managing Director at JP Morgan, Elizabeth has experience as Chair and board member on public and not-for-profit boards at national, regional and local levels. Current roles in Oxfordshire include Chair, The Oxford Playhouse, Trustee at SOFEA and Trustee at Be Free Young Carers. She is a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, leading the Lieutenancy Convening Group for families and children and is also the DL with responsibility for Didcot. She is an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and a focus on women and entrepreneurship includes roles as a World Bank Consultant with the IFC, with the Goldman Sachs Foundation, as well as teaching women entrepreneurs from China to W. Africa.

1. What do you feel is your greatest achievement?
It was my good fortune to be part of the team who founded The Orwell Youth Prize – a charity that asks young people what they think, teaches them the skills to communicate powerfully and then amplifies their voices. And wow what a result! Focusing especially on areas where young people had not had many opportunities, the charity goes into schools and youth groups all over the country. And the young people write – they write about their lives and about the futures they hope for. It’s a bit of a cliche to say we should listen more to young people, but I remain hugely impressed by the wisdom and insight from these young voices.

2. What do you like to do outside of work?
I’ve always enjoyed nature and gardening, and more time at home during the pandemic has helped me to pause, and enjoy even the couch grass that got into the lavender. Last winter a pheasant became so tame he started coming every day to the bird feeder, and I’m hoping he will be back again this winter.

3. As a busy person wearing various hats, what’s your ‘top time-saving tip’ ?

I have a confession. Even when I know I have a huge and important piece of work ahead, like a strategic review, I still keep responding to emails and taking calls instead of getting started on it. So my top tip to myself is to break the large task into bitesize pieces and actually book them into my diary. That clears space to get started, and I know I will do it because it has been booked in the diary.