Having played football for more than 18 years at West Ham United Football Club, Victoria King reflects on the ways her career in women’s football has contributed to her career in finance. She shares her journey to Macquarie and her dedication to opening doors for the next generation of talent, as an Associate Director in Human Resources.
Victoria King entered the world of financial services from school in 2003, “I landed a role in Human Resources within a financial services organisation and soon discovered that I absolutely loved it and could quickly see a career path that played to my strengths and interests.”
To develop her career, Vicki studied human resources, while also working full-time and training twice a week with West Ham United. She recognises the level of commitment needed to realise career goals, especially for younger people just starting out.
She advises them to “be curious, be a dedicated learner, work hard and always raise the bar on your own performance. And build relationships, leverage the intellect and talent around you because no one can do it alone.”
Seven years into her Macquarie journey, Vicki leads a team of 13, providing human resources support to the Commodities and Global Markets business. She draws parallels between her experience in football and her life in financial services - identifying many transferable skills, particularly around leadership, teamwork and resilience.
"Football is all about performing under pressure, working together and supporting each other on the pitch. All of these qualities make for an effective team in the workplace, particularly in the fast-paced environment that is financial services."
Football has helped me understand what it takes to be a good leader. Something you often hear is that coaches don’t win games, players do. No one person is bigger than the team — it’s the team that is important."
Vicki explains that she brings a great deal of what she learnt on the football pitch into her work.
“Football teaches you resilience. I was not always the best player technically, but I won my place on the team by working hard. I have always been prepared to go the extra mile. Setbacks in football brings opportunity for new focus and renewed drive, and I bring that attitude to everything that I do.”
Vicki has seized opportunities to develop her role at Macquarie. After joining the organisation as a HR Business Partner for Macquarie Capital, structural changes to the business resulted in her being offered the chance to support the Commodities and Global Markets business, where she became Business Partner for Commodities and Global Markets in EMEA.
From there, 18 months later, she stepped up into her current position as the company’s People and Culture Director for Commodities and Global Markets in EMEA and the Americas.
Applying skills learned on the football pitch to her professional life at Macquarie, Vicki supports her team in delivering high-quality human resources support to the business.
Vicki is passionate about opening doors for the next generation of talent and has been instrumental in designing and leading a number of initiatives including Macquarie’s Rise to It Scholarship Programme.
Joining Macquarie has awakened a passion to drive positive change and I’m proud to have been given the opportunity to introduce innovative programmes that will help to do that. I have never felt scared of failing here, because I have always felt so well-supported by the people around me."
Developed by Vicki and Emma Cahill, Macquarie’s Head of Early Careers in EMEA, Rise to It is designed to give students from low socio-economic backgrounds and underrepresented communities experience of the financial services industry.
Successful candidates are offered work experience at Macquarie followed by a fully funded university scholarship and then, an opportunity to join the business. Three students from the UK are sponsored by Macquarie every other year, with the first cohort graduating in 2025.
“It about widening the gate and creating an equitable workplace. We need high-quality candidates, and it is important to offer access and opportunity to those who might otherwise never consider going to university or applying to a business like Macquarie.”
She adds: “Being in HR is a privilege, we are in a great position to shape and influence the direction of travel for our people strategy. What I love is the fact that I can create opportunities, particularly for those who are overlooked. There are so many smart kids out there who have no way to navigate the world of financial services, who don’t have the networks or strong family support. We need to reach out to these people. It is an investment, but it genuinely changes lives. Just by practicing good HR, we can make a real difference.”