'Be yourself and don't give up'

When I’m at work, I don’t think of myself as being female, or that I am a woman in a man’s world. If anything, I see myself as a person doing a job.

I’ve been in the mortgage industry over 20 years and passed my CeMAP qualification in 2001, so I’ve seen a few changes throughout this time. The mortgage market used to be very male dominated, but I think there are opportunities for everyone these days, more so than some other sectors. We often see more men than women at industry events, but over the years, lots of great female professionals — both on the lender and broker sides — have moved up and through the ranks, which is very welcome. There are a lot of intelligent, creative and hard-working women in our sector, particularly in middle management, but we could do with more at the top executive level.

I believe women are generally more emotive than men, so are suited for roles where customer service, relationships and attention to detail are key. Mortgage brokers, for example, are dealing with people’s lives and homes, and I believe that if you provide a great service, sales will naturally follow, as well as repeat business. You will also get recommendations from clients’ family and friends. This is a much better way to interact with people, rather than just viewing your job in terms of sales and numbers, and I think women are generally more likely to work that way.

My advice to women in any role is to back yourself and be confident. Sometimes women think they are not worthy of taking on a new challenging job if they have not done it before, but they can, as women are very adaptable and used to multi-tasking within all aspects of their lives. We should all embrace the opportunities that come our way, learn on the job and believe in our abilities. Confidence is key, although the ability to show vulnerability is also powerful — accept there will be good and bad days, be yourself and don’t give up.

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