Leader Led Conversation Over Coffee – Jane Retimana from Payments NZ

By Rosey Nathan – Chief Commercial Officer

Jane wears many hats.  Her main intraprenurial role is with Payments NZ where she has been an NZ Executive since Oct 2012 and the GM Strategy and Corporate Affairs from Oct 2017.  Additional to these responsibilities she is also Chair and Maori Whanau representative of the Board Of Trustees at Browns Bay Primary School, Independent Director of Comprehensive Care Limited and Comprehensive Care Primary Health Organisation and Executive Council Member of Digital ID New Zealand

I originally met Jane when I was in the Payments industry.  She kindly took me under her wing, later sharing that seeing another senior Māori female face in that crowd was meanful to her.  It was at a Payments NZ “The Link” event, [an event Payment NZ run for women who work in the payments industry] where I first expressed my idea for the social enterprise I founded, that then led me here to Her Career.  For the moment Jane created at that event, and the platform Payments NZ provide me to set those wheels in motion, I am forever grateful

Jane’s sharing was respectful to Te Wiki o te reo Māori., occuring at the time of our call. Although she was personally uncertain of her impact for our Leader Led call, or if anyone would find her words inspirational, it was apparent from the start this would be conversational, relatable, real and empowering.  Her words did not disappoint!

Early days

Jane is Auckland born and breed with her father’s Māori whakapapa from Te Uri o Hau hapu and Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa iwi, and English, French and Irish ancestry from her Mother

Growing up in Devonport in a bicultural family on the North Shore of Auckland, her parents worked hard to give her and her siblings as much opportunity as possible.  In sixth form (Y12) she was an exchange student for a year in Brazil, South America.  She reflects on how she now realises at 16yo, moving to a country that doesn’t speak English with a completely different culture probably started her on a particular journey, wanting more for her life … although her Portuguese has suffered from only sporadic use since that time

When she came back and went to University, she swapped degrees a few times, ending up with a business degree.  She stumbled into her first career in early childhood where her Mum ran an early childhood centre that she had worked at through her school and University days

She knew even though she enjoyed it, that wasn’t the career for her

First Professional Steps

Jane then moved to start her professional life in the public service spending many years over many different roles in the Ministry of Justice.  She fell into this with an introduction by her next-door neighbour, who knew of her degree and also advised at the time she would be about 20yrs younger than most of the team!

If you have an opportunity to work for the Government in the public sector, Jane recommends you embrace it as a fantastic training ground for a number of transferable skills such as how to best navigate bureaucracy and how to write really good reports (as she would have to for ministers and other notable recipients).  Although she spent longer there than perhaps naturally would have, given that she had her 2 children at this time the flexibility of maternity and part time work assisted with work / life balance

Another key learning from her public sector days was in the area of transformation or change programs.  She found that when the shackles of bureaucracy came off, her and her teams could get creative and inventive.  Implementation of these types of initiatives doesn’t always happen but, from a service and customer design point of view, there was great exposure to the overall process

Here & Now

From that public service time, Jane’s next step was to Payments NZ where she has now been for 8 years.  They are responsible for rallying industry groups, roles and people together to wrangle strategy, investment and innovation, always trying to evolve systems to support the economic activity of Kiwi’s and business from a Payments perspective 

Although Jane hasn’t worked in a vast number of businesses, she has had considerable exposure across roles and responsibilities, continuing to push herself professionally.  She is an advocate for taking an opportunity that is presented believing that if you get tapped on the shoulder take the leap, you just don’t know what the future will bring so why not go and try out these new options, even if only for six months?  You might even be able to make a whole career out of this unexpected opportunity, life changes and you change, embrace it!

Having an honest and collaborative relationship with her CEO, especially as a leader in the business herself, is critical.  She has taken time to review where she sits relative to others, the value that she brings, and how she can be a promoter in remuneration scale for those that report to her.  She believes if you can affect those types of changes, you should.  They may be hard, uncomfortable discussions to have, but you should have them because it is an important part of relationship building and jobs.  You have to build relationships up and across and down, and to do that effectively you have to get honest and have those frank conversations, it obviously helps when you know you have senior support around you

Although Jane hasn’t had formal mentors, she does take her life lessons, from her bicultural upbringing, and sound advice from those she trusts, on board

One key piece of advice from her parents that has always stuck with her was “No one’s above you and no one’s below you, you’re as good as anyone else”  She grew up with this belief firmly installed, it doesn’t matter if you are going to talk to the Prime Minister or any another person.  You can respect their role, and their achievements, but we are all people

Another piece of advice that has carried Jane through in times of adversity, is knowing when a situation happens “You just have to put your big girl knickers on”, find your courage, front up and make things happen.  She saw this example in action when a former Payments NZ board member, Dame Patsy Reddy, shared at a The Link event she had a moment of imposter syndrome upon being approached to be the Governor General.  Jane has followed her work in this role with admiration of the amazing job she has performed since

Although Jane admits that work / life balance could do with a little more on the life side of the fence at times, she reverts back to her opportunity / shoulder tap remarks and is taking up those opportunities that fill specific needs for her growth.  That’s how she has got into taking on her various governance roles outside of her day job.   Something she has implemented with success on the life balance, however, is taking action and not waiting.  She gave a few examples of where she has done this in organising her large extended whanau and she can report so far it is working for her!

Jane also paid tribute to having a good support system around you.  Hers has helped to create space for her to take on opportunities, and she credits her husband for helping in her in the work / life juggle 

2020 has been a challenging year for all and even with a growth mindset and being in a privileged position with the security of her role, Jane acknowledges it is still a challenge.  She is still pushing forward, understanding that other people rely on her for their jobs and what they do, so that resilience is important now

Last Words

We left the conversation with a nod to the importance of personal integrity.  Understand yourself and the value you bring, treat yourself well and stay true in your professional life to your own moral compass

Our Her Career team and members thank you Jane, and wish you all the best for the successes we know are still ahead with the opportunities we know you will embrace!

Want the replay of Jane’s Leader Led Conversation Over Coffee?

Conversations Over Coffee is a safe space created for the members of our FB Group, “Millennial intrapreneurs thriving in their 9 – 5“. The calls are 30mins fortnightly with every 4th call being open to a wider audience and Leader Led

We are always looking for successful senior female intrapreneurial leaders willing to share their story, experiences and insights with our members to accelerate career, money, network. Get in touch if you are, or can introduce us to, someone that fits that bill!