'I have often walked into a meeting with a male colleague, and they are presumed to be the senior manager'

Working in the mortgage industry as a woman is very different now compared to 10 years ago.

Pre-financial crash, it’s safe to say the industry was an extremely male-dominated and masculine environment to work in, and while in some respects that bias still exists, it’s now not so unusual to see women in senior positions, and more women generally working within this field. This is naturally great to see, however there is still the challenge of being taken seriously; I have often walked into a meeting with a male colleague, and they are presumed to be the senior manager.

One of the reasons I have been successful in my career is the fact that I had an excellent sponsor early on. This mentor was a man, and he provided more exposure for others to see my skills and gave me opportunities that may not have been available had I not had his backing. Without that support, I feel I would not have enjoyed the career that I have, showing just how important an ally can be for women. Of course, with more women in senior positions today, this support and mentorship can equally come from senior women.

My advice for other women looking to pursue a similar career would be: don’t be put off by the environment. Work hard, be true to yourself and be authentic. Don’t feel the need to push a personality that may not be who you really are. It’s always best to relax and let them see your ability. 

The more visibility women have in this industry, the more it will be seen as the norm, and less unusual for women to occupy senior roles in the space. I don’t necessarily advocate for positive discrimination: to me, it’s all about creating supportive environments for everybody to contribute and thrive, regardless of their gender.

Are you a woman in the financial services industry keen to get your voice heard? Contact [email protected] - we would love to chat!

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