On her first day with Darlington Building Society, four years ago, Janie Robertshaw had an appointment to meet the CEO.

“That is something that didn’t happen in the six years that I worked at Virgin Money,” she laughs. “I never met the CEO once.”

But that’s one of the great things that Janie loves about working for the Society in her role as Head of Prudential and Credit Risk – the opportunity to get involved at a relatively high level, and the chance to make a difference.

Janie’s job is to provide an oversight over all the financial and prudential risk, and ensure that any lending is done in a safe and responsible way. Because the Society is a comparatively small organisation, it gives her more responsibility, and exposure to the executives and the board.

Born in South Shields, Janie went to university in Durham, and then moved to London to work as a tax consultant, before joining Barclays Bank in the credit risk department. After a brief period in Portugal, she returned to the North East, where she worked in Risk Management with Durham Police.

She left the police to work at Northern Rock, which was taken over by Virgin Money a year later. After being made redundant in early 2017, Janie joined Darlington Building Society.

“I really liked the ethos of the company and having the opportunity to progress,” she explains. “The people are lovely and there’s a real nurturing atmosphere. They give you the opportunity to get ahead, and the space and time and support to do it.”