In the final instalment of our Women in Insolvency podcast, our guests shared some valuable insights and perspectives on how to support women’s careers in the insolvency industry, including the importance of role models, coaching, networking, and creating a supportive work culture where all professionals can progress at their own pace.
Whether you’re just starting your career or seeking to elevate your role within the industry, this recap summarises the key pearls of wisdom shared by our guests to help you navigate the complexities of the insolvency landscape.
Meet Our Speakers
A key area which Ali benefitted from and would strongly recommend to others is coaching. In her experience, she found this significantly improved her confidence and encouraged her to use her voice more by giving her a safe place to talk to people and work through any issues. So, if you’re ever given the opportunity to participate in coaching, then grab hold of it.
“I think one of the things that I found particularly helpful, more recently, a firm had invested in quite a lot of coaching for women. And I found that hugely helpful, because I think one of the things, talking personally, is that I found held me back is actually just a self-belief.”
Ali Wisbey, Risk & Technical Director at Interpath Ltd
Michelle also testified to the benefits of participating in coaching to instil confidence and self-belief which are often common barriers to people progressing in their careers. She also advised young professionals to ignore the average statistics and expectations of when you “should” make partner and instead focus on doing your job well and progressing at a pace which suits you and your circumstances.
“The need to constantly be striving ahead doesn’t always need to be there. It can actually be just do your job at that level very well and adjust to your other sort of circumstances and then with the view that, actually, if you’ve not moved grade in two years’ time it doesn’t mean you’re never going to move grade. It just means actually it may take you a bit longer as you’re adapting and so forth. I would say that for myself, I made partner a lot later than a male stat, or what that historical stat would say but it was the right time for me personally and in all my other commitments.”
Michelle Elliot, Partner at FRP Advisory
When exploring the topic of role models, Arabella shared that although she benefitted from having her father who is an IP as a role model, she also found it important to find other people who thought similarly to her, people who did similar work and also insightful people from different industries to learn from. One of the key things she has learned in her career is that if someone wants to have a conversation and is keen to progress and you have the ability to help them, then you should do so.
“I find listening to anyone you come across and has a story to tell… it’s about giving back. So if someone’s willing to have a conversation with you, and someone clearly wants to push their career forward, and you can help them, I think that’s really important to do that, too.”
Arabella Ranby-Gorwood, Insolvency Practitioner at CRG Insolvency
Reflecting on Episode 1 – Women in Insolvency: The imbalance at the top, Michelle felt that the future for women within the industry is bright and expects to see more and more women progress to more senior roles however we need to balance this with the reality of the role. It’s not a standard 9 to 5 job with clear start and finish times and there’s some situations where you’ll need to take a call or answer an email out of hours which won’t appeal to everyone regardless of whether they are male or female.
Finally, all of our guests stressed the importance of creating a support network of colleagues with which you can share ideas with and discuss issues. In the past, the industry was seen to be much more cutthroat however nowadays, there’s much more willingness from people to work together and support each other which makes a massive difference.
And that’s a wrap up on our Women in Insolvency series! We hope you enjoyed our exploration of the future of gender diversity in the insolvency sector and are encouraged by the positive shifts in the industry’s culture, increasing support mechanisms, and growing focus on inclusion.
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