Dai'namic Woman: Rebecca Anderton-Davies

Rebecca Anderton-Davies

Investment banker, mother, yoga practitioner and author of her latest book ‘Shifting the Dials’.

6 minute read

Photos by Helene Sandberg

For our final Dai’namic Women Series, we reconnected with some of our original Trailblazers to hear about their journey with Dai, and how their favourite pieces have empowered them in their everyday lives. 

In today’s interview we meet Rebecca, an investment  banker, mother, yoga practitioner and author of her latest book ‘Shifting the Dials’.

Despite her busy schedule, Rebecca was kind enough to spend a few hours with the Dai team to share her story and that when knocked off her bike in 2014, it was the start of a new way of life for her. Here she shares her insight on how we can use the Dials in a successful way to realign with what's important to us.

Photo: Rebecca Anderton-Davies wears our Double Take Blazer in Navy Pinstripe, our Eco Layer On Top in Ivory and The Skinny Leg Jeans in Indigo.

What inspired you to go beyond your day job and share your message with the world?

I was knocked off my bike when I was 28 - I broke my collarbone and did a lot of damage to my shoulder and six months later I still couldn't lift my arm above my head. I went to the physio but didn't obviously do any of the exercises because who does that? At the end of my sessions my physio recommended I do something to get moving and suggested I try yoga. There was an amazing Iyengar yoga teacher in my work yoga studio so I started going and it was so hard, I couldn't do anything; downward dog, a press up, I couldn't touch my toes even! But despite this, I fell in love with it and then everything started happening and here we are.

How has yoga changed your life?

Yoga has totally changed my life - it’s got me fitter, it’s got me stronger but also allowed me to really connect my body with my mind. I was doing this very intellectual job but had little connection with my mind so to bring those two things together has helped me in a really indescribable way, particularly heading into motherhood and all the other things I ended up doing - having a centre of calm is really important.

Photo: Rebecca Anderton-Davies shows off her yoga skills in our dynamic 24/7 Relaxed Shirt in White and the Power Move™ FLOW Leggings in Black.

Tells us about your new book ‘Shifting the Dials’, why is work-life balance a bad mental model and what are the dials all about?

Shifting the Dials came out in April 2023 and it's all about what is wrong with the work-life balance mental model and what we should replace it with. 

Work-life balance is meant to be this thing that helps us, and helps us find success in a very busy, complicated world and there are a lot of studies that show the language we use shapes our lived experience. These say that balance is positional, static, and arbitrary but who decided that these are the only two things that exist in your life? I wanted to find a language that better expressed the reality that many of us live, which is lots of different component parts of life; work is not one thing, life is definitely not one thing, and as a result we can allocate our rare and precious resources of time and of energy in a really dynamic way. 

The beauty of a dial is you can turn it up, or you can turn it down, and my hope is that often we get to turn those dials ourselves, although sometimes the universe does it for you. For the first part of the book, the Dials is describing four parts of that mental model and for the second half of the book I talk about a world in which the Dials exist - about money, about quitting, about impact and all sorts of things that hopefully help people use the Dials in a really successful way for them and what's important in their lives.

What advice are you giving the up and coming professional women in your line of work nowadays who really look up to you and what you've done in your career?

I wrote a whole chapter on the book in this about quitting and my message, which I think is a little bit hard for people to digest initially, but that the first five years of doing anything that's worth doing, and this particularly applies to difficult careers like investment banking, is that it is a bit shit! And it's not because you're doing it wrong or you're doing the wrong work, it's because these things are complicated and there is no perfect way of doing it. 

You have to find your own authentic and impactful way of doing these really different jobs and that is just a process that takes a lot of time. And so my message is to stay, and to find the other parts in your life, your other dials, whether it's yoga, relationships, traveling, food, whatever it is, that help you get through that time. 

It's not about sucking it up or suffering, but it is about appreciating that this isn't going to happen overnight, but what happens over five, ten, twenty years (and I've been in the industry for 20 years now) that what is waiting for you at the end of it is really worth it. So my message is to stay, but to make that time enjoyable by bringing lots of other things into your life as well.

What's your relationship with fashion?

I honestly would like not to have to think about it too much! I just want to feel like a slightly enhanced version of me. I don't like shopping in shops, I like shopping online. I know what I'm looking for, and when I find it, I buy it in multiple colours and in multiple versions, and that's the gap in my wardrobe filled. It’s all about investment pieces. 

What do you love about Dai?

I love how comfy it is and how stylish it is. I don’t have to think about how the pieces go together - even if you have a few pieces, everything works, so you have this amazing capsule wardrobe from the beginning.

What is your favourite Dai piece and why?

The Eco Layer On Top, I have four of them! They go under dresses, they go with leggings, they go under jackets, you can wear them by themselves with jeans. I live in them come autumn and winter.

Where have your Dai pieces taken you?

I always take my Dai pieces when I travel, so I've worn them a lot in New York because you can squish them in a tiny carry -on suitcase and they come out looking amazing. I usually pack the Eco Layer On Top, the Power Move™ trousers and then I just take the Trail Blazer™ jacket on the plane.

Shop Rebecca's Edit