International Women’s Day: Meet our Chair, Jacqueline!

Fri 6th March 2020

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, we are delighted to profile the Foundation’s Chair, Jacqueline Gourlay.

Jacqueline is a chartered accountant with vast experience in various financial and operational roles within the electronics and leisure industries.

She has been on the Board of Trustees since 2004, before officially taking on the role of Chair in 2019.

Why the role is special…

Speaking about why she enjoys her role, Jacqui said: “The Foundation’s greatest strength is its ability to harness the power of the Rangers Family to do good things for people. Our staff are the people that make that happen and my greatest enjoyment is helping them to do that.

“As a Board we do not get greatly involved in the day-to-day running, but I think it’s the support that we give the Foundation management and staff that I enjoy the most.”

What being a Chairperson entails…

As Chair, Jacqui has a number of duties with the main purpose being to provide leadership and direction to the Board, with the aim of enabling them to fulfil their obligation for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Foundation.

“What this means is helping to organise and chair all Board Meetings,” she says “and keeping in contact with the other Trustees to make sure they are kept properly informed about the activities of the team. 

“The other main focus is to work in partnership with Connal and support the wider team, hopefully helping them as they work to achieve our aims.

“We have also been trying to increase the contact and exposure between our colleagues and the Trustees – recently involving both in our AGM day activities and in a couple of weeks we will have our strategy workshop, where the new proposed strategy will be presented by the colleagues that compiled it to the Board for discussion and refinement.”

The journey here…

Jacqui’s road to the Rangers Charity Foundation began in finance, including roles within Rangers Football Club.

“I trained as a CA with Price Waterhouse and left to join Motorola as an analyst,” she comments. “I then joined Rangers Football Club and held various roles in finance and operations, which led to being involved in the fledging Foundation.

“I became a trustee two years into the Foundation’s existence to help bolster the finance and governance area and have been involved ever since, taking on the Chair role when we transformed to a SCIO.”

Milestones and learnings…

Reflecting on the learnings she’s taken along the way, Jacaqui notes the following as key milestones, which have helped to shape her into the leader she is today.

“Training as a CA with Price Waterhouse as my first ‘proper’ job was a fantastic grounding in a number of areas including corporate structures and behaviours, the importance of acting in a professional and ethical manner and how to build solid working relationships. The training we received in people management in particular stood me in great stead.

“The administration period at the Club taught me about the importance of internal communication and also a lot about the levels of resilience people are capable of.

“Working in a start-up environment where all hands literally mean all hands was fun but also a huge learning curve – the passion that exists in these environments is something that seems to be somewhat lost as organisations grow and evolve but the energy it brings is contagious. In this time I was also exposed to the reality of the venture capital/funding world which was a huge eye opener.”

Advice for others…

“For anyone, find something that you have a passion for, research the hell out of it to find out what makes a person successful in that area and put the extra effort in to prepare yourself.

“Invest the time and the effort in you – learning, questioning, trying things outside your comfort zone – make yourself knowledgeable and presentable and above all persevere!”

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