Joanne Ross, Chief of Staff to the CEO at Centrica Group plc


Be brave and take on challenges outside your comfort zone

Joanne is best known for her strategic thinking and her collaborative problem solving skills; she is perfectly placed in the Energy sector as it faces into the need for major transformation. She moved into the sector 10 years ago having held General Counsel roles in both the technology sector and with Cola-Cola Hellenic in Ireland. Joanne cares about tackling climate change and as Chairperson of the Electricity Association of Ireland played a central role in shaping the industry’s position on policy measures to enable the energy transition in Ireland.  In her current role as Chief of Staff for Centrica plc she is enjoying the opportunity to help shape the turnaround of one of the biggest energy companies in the UK and Ireland. 

Having too often been the only woman in the room in a male dominated industry, she is passionate about improving diversity and about ensuring everyone is supported to bring their best self to work. She is executive sponsor of the Centrica Women’s Network and was for many years executive sponsor of mental health awareness for Centrica’s Irish business.  

Her partner and their four children keep her grounded (and busy!).  She finds cycling a great stress reliever along with walking the dogs and listening to podcasts.

Top tips

  • Spend time exploring your personal values, what sort of life you want and how your career fits into that.
  • Don’t be afraid to have honest conversations with people you trust about your ultimate career ambition and seek feedback regularly on what areas you need to develop to achieve it.   
  • Put time and effort into building high trust relationships in work – often it’s these relationships that help you progress.  
  • Find ways to ensure you are constantly challenged and learning – there are always opportunities to develop yourself if you seek them out. 
  • Be yourself – authenticity can be a real strength 

Key Advice for someone looking to progress

Be brave and take on challenges outside your comfort zone – don’t strive for perfection – work hard and give your best, that’s often more than enough.