Allegra Penny

'If there is value in what you are saying, people will listen'

If you were to tell my 18-year-old self just starting university that I would end up in bridging finance, I would have had one million questions for you, but once you’d explained what being a relationship manager entails, I would see exactly why I’ve ended up where I am.

The role perfectly combines my property interests and personality; I grew up in a property family where my father was a developer and I also really enjoy getting to know people and finding out what motivates them.

I am coming up to my four-year anniversary at Funding 365 where I progressed from sales and marketing executive to relationship manager within six months of starting. When I first began in the finance industry, I had wondered whether being female would disadvantage me, especially as I quickly discovered I was one of very few relationship managers who was female and in their early twenties at the time. However, I learnt that if there is value in what you are saying, people will listen.

I think women who are looking to pursue a career within our industry should take the time to really understand the sector and the role that they are looking to go into. Specifically, within a lender there is a large variety of different jobs, so I would ensure the role you go for is one that suits your personality and skill set. For example, my normal day is filled with broker chats, deal discussions, event organising (virtual at the moment!) and product development — all things that I enjoy and value doing.

I can’t speak for other lenders out there, but I can honestly say that Funding 365 has always been extremely inclusive and has made me feel valued and respected since the first day I walked through the door. I feel incredibly lucky to say that the team I get to work with have also become good friends over the years. The team is now 40% female and all the women I get to work with are pretty badass.

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