If I knew then what I know now: Angela Bergin on awards, intuition and returning to work with a bang
17th Feb 2023
When Angela Bergin, senior vice president of Global Payments Inc and IMAGE PwC Digital & Technology Businesswoman of the Year winner, returned to work after maternity leave she decided to show it was possible to come back with a bang. One step she took opened her mind to what she can do with her life and gave her the prompt to do it...
What’s one lesson you have learned in your career that you wish every woman knew?
Trust your gut. Our human intuition – and women’s in particular – is a powerful force. When I had the ability to decide on a direction by myself, it was amazing how quickly I found that I had the answer. You do too and you don’t need validation from anyone else …unless you are data gathering of course and you can still chose to ignore it!
Describe your career in three words…
A fast-paced hurdle.
Is there any advice that is so far off the mark that you feel you need to warn other women to ignore it?
I used to worry about whether you need to step down to step back. I realised, through experience, that we are all entitled to put our focus into different parts of our lives for a bit, such as maternity or paternity. We are entitled to a role or career that keeps us challenged and motivated and for that career progression to continue while still being respectful of our life’s boundaries.
What’s the most valuable piece of financial advice you ever received?
Pay off your debt or mortgage because having it stops people doing what they really want to do with their lives.
What is the business legacy you want to leave?
That I see double/triple/infinite multiples (!) of diversity in the teams coming a few years behind me.
What inspired you to nominate yourself for the Businesswoman of the Year awards?
I had been on maternity leave the year before and it was very important to me in general that when I returned to work I made an impact, even more so than normal because my time became ever more precious. I wanted to show it is possible to come back with a bang.
Winning a Businesswoman of the Year Award really opened my mind about what I want to do and can do with my life.
What advice do you have for anyone considering nominating themselves?
Absolutely, just do it! When you think about it, it’s practically impossible for all the variables to come together otherwise – that someone will hear about these awards, decide to submit you, nominate you ahead of the deadline, etc. Only you know enough about you to fill out the form (with an award-winning submission no less). So you must and should do it yourself! You know yourself and your achievements better than anyone else.
How did it feel to be recognised at the event?
I was genuinely shocked. I know people say that – but I really was! Just after that, I was mostly relieved that I’d spent a few minutes thinking of the key points I wanted to get across…just in case. I spoke about the joy of moving from being the only woman in the room to being one of hundreds of amazing women in the room…which was very much from the heart and what I felt on the night.
Could you be this year’s Businesswoman of the Year?
After the shock, it felt so special. The way IMAGE organise the event, with a photographer and interview straight after really heightened it. I spoke of my daughter, who is three now, and the legacy of my mother and grandmother’s belief in education, even with very little money. It was a highlight of my year and it brought a feeling of connection to the generations of women in my family.
Has receiving the recognition impacted you?
It absolutely has. It really opened my mind about what I want to do and can do with my life. This event and award and meeting all the amazing women that I have through IMAGE, has given me the belief and the prompt to start planning my next phase and how I can incorporate my passions into my life, such as writing and coaching. I also want to get really clear on how I will contribute in any way to supporting more and more women to be in their rightful positions of authority and influence and fulfilment.
What’s your ‘go-to’ quotation for inspiration?
The first ‘self help’ book that I read when I was a teenager was ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. The title always stuck with me and I try to think about that whenever I question myself on something that pushes me out of my comfort zone…but that I still know will be good for me!
If you ‘knew then what you know now’, is there anything you would do differently?
I see life as a series of options or paths you can take. I don’t believe anyone should waste their time feeling bad about what we have done up to this point, because there were reasons that we chose to do what we did or felt unable to choose a different way at the time.
But from here on forward, there is no excuse! For regrets I do my best to try figure out the cause and put my focus into the opposite (more time for friends, family, exercise, finances etc.), and I check in on my life-balance every few months now because I find where I want to focus changes at any point in time.
So, I suppose the ‘what I wish I knew then’ is not to be so hard on myself, but to treat that tight feeling in my stomach as a friendly voice telling me to take control and to act differently the next time.
When & Where
When: Friday, April 14, 2023, from 6:30pm until late
Where: The Clayton, Burlington Road, Dublin 4
The IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year shortlist has been announced! Visit here for the shortlist.
How to register: You can purchase a limited number of early bird tickets below:
If you would like to pay via invoice, please email [email protected].
For terms & conditions, please visit here.