Nicola McCoosh

'We need more female leadership in primary decision-making roles'

I am the group marketing manager for Ortus Secured Finance and am responsible for the marketing strategy to drive brand awareness within existing areas and also scope exposure in new ones throughout the UK.

I have worked in marketing for the majority of my career — mostly in London and Brighton, however after I relocated back to Northern Ireland, I was searching for a position that would offer me the similar fast-paced and challenging environment I had been used to in London while also working for a company with integrity and one that I believed I could bring true added value to the team.

I was initially attracted to Ortus because of its clear, strong growth strategy, and I was also impressed by its very open, flexible working policies, which unfortunately, is still fairly rare within the finance sector.
Right now, mothers are 47% more likely to have quit or lost their job during this pandemic than fathers. What’s worrying is that we know from SARS and Ebola that disparity grows at an alarming rate during health emergencies, and so the weight of inequality still seems to be firmly on female shoulders.

I am currently the only female working at Ortus. However, I have honestly not felt any sense of gender discrimination but, instead, genuinely feel that I have been given the same treatment and respect as my male counterparts. I believe that Ortus’s commitment to flexible working has opened up opportunities for all of the team, regardless of their sex or location. This is certainly something that has become normalised within the office culture, which is truly a positive step for both genders, but one that undoubtedly benefits women more than men.
In terms of personal career advice, I would say that transparency and honesty are key. An old boss once told me be careful which bridges you burn as you never know the ones you need to cross back over in the future, and I’ve always tried to bear this in mind throughout my career. I’ve always tried to leave anywhere on a positive note, finish well, and know that if I needed their recommendation at some point in the future, I could confidently ask for it.
I would encourage anyone considering a career within the financial services section to just go for it! As a woman, the skills and abilities you bring to the table will be completely unique and we, without a doubt, need more female leadership in primary decision-making roles to bring change for the better to the industry.

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