The financial planning journal

International Women’s Day, hear from our brilliant women

8 March 2021

At Saltus, we truly believe in the power which comes from diversity. This means we are committed to ensuring our workplace is an environment that celebrates individuality and provides all of our colleagues with the tools and training they require to reach their career ambitions.

The financial services industry may once have been dominated by men, however I am proud to say that at Saltus our senior leadership team is 50% female and we were able to begin 2021 by celebrating a new cohort of partners, 50% of whom were women. Further, we actively support flexible working, to ensure everybody at Saltus can achieve both their professional and personal goals.

Each day, our female colleagues and partners deliver remarkable results which exceed expectations. International Women’s Day provides me with the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of their career journeys.

Below, Axinya Smith, Megan Jenkins, Gill Hibbard, Kay Ovenden, Alice Lording and Gemma Sherliker from our Saltus family share a little bit about their career journeys. We hope these experiences can inspire women everywhere to strive for their ambitions, whatever those ambitions may be.

 

-Jon Macintosh, CEO at Saltus

Axinya

My career at Saltus began in 2016 when I was hired as a Client Services Administrator. At that stage in my life, I was not sure which direction I wanted my career to go in and fortunately I stumbled into the world of data.

“One of my mentors always said, “If you don’t make mistakes, then you aren’t trying hard enough” and that will stick with me forever.”

 

I have been lucky to have supportive colleagues and mentors at Saltus who believed in me from the beginning. One of my mentors always said, “If you don’t make mistakes, then you aren’t trying hard enough” and that will stick with me forever. I was then able to find opportunities to learn and move out of my comfort zone, by doing so I was able to grow and become more confident in each role I worked in.

I am now Head of Data, a department that did not exist 5 years ago, and continues to expand.  The Data department is made up of an amazing team of individuals, the majority of which are women. It is so great to see Saltus actively encourage the promotion of women in the workplace.

Saltus is a great environment to work in, we are an extremely collaborative company, where every individual makes an impact in the Saltus universe. No matter how big or small, everyone is equally recognized.

I hope I can encourage the next generation of women to seize every opportunity for growth and advancement that comes their way.

Megan

I joined Saltus in 2015 as an intern. I, like many, had no idea what I wanted to do after finishing university, all I knew was that I wanted to work in ‘finance’.  I was lucky enough to find a company that allowed me the opportunity to get into the industry and help develop my career.

“Working at Saltus I am surrounded by women that have built incredible careers and inspire me every day.”

 

I have always been used to being in a male-dominated environment, even going back to being the only girl in my GCSE electronics class and this has continued into my professional life. Yet working at Saltus I am surrounded by women that have built incredible careers and inspire me every day.

Saltus is a very supportive environment to work in and I have had first-hand experience of Saltus encouraging the development of women working in finance.

I am now an adviser at Saltus and run the graduate programme for young advisers joining the company.  I aim to be a positive role model for not only younger women coming into the industry, but anyone who wants to pursue a career in financial advice.

Gill

I joined Saltus from an acquisition in 2018, and have been incredibly impressed with the openness of the approach to promoting women in the workplace.

I have worked in Financial Services for the majority of my career, from large banks to small IFA practices, and have also owned my own compliance consultancy.  I have realised over the years that none of my experiences have been wasted, each one informing an approach I now take.

I have learned how people really value a small company, even as the company grows and naturally becomes more corporate. I now head up the HR and Compliance departments at Saltus, so am working to ensure the culture here remains supportive as we grow.

Saltus really value continued learning and development, and I’ve been pleased to study for a Law degree through the Open University over the last few years, alongside my role.

“As someone who has spent most of their career being the only woman in the room, I am delighted to be able to use my experiences to help the next generation coming through.”

 

As someone who has spent most of their career being the only woman in the room, I am delighted to be able to use my experiences to help the next generation coming through, where they can have a more equal path and be able to gain the recognition they deserve.

Gemma

As a working mum, I have always been passionate about developing my career. Achieving at work makes me happy and therefore, I believe, a better mum to my children.

“Here I have found a flexible and supportive environment that challenges me every day.”

 

I am a partner at Saltus and work 4 days a week looking after Marketing. Here, I have found a flexible and supportive environment that challenges me every day. My role is varied, and the company gives me all the resources I need to succeed. I always feel heard and my contributions are valued, we have a great culture that welcomes new ideas and fresh perspectives.

We have solid policies for flexible working and maternity leave. As someone just about to go on maternity leave again, I feel supported and valued by Saltus and I am already looking forward to returning in a year’s time.

There is no limit to what anyone can achieve here, male or female, full or part-time, everyone can have a fulfilling and rewarding career at Saltus.

Alice

I joined Saltus in February 2019 as a paraplanner after having worked in the industry for 6 years. My career started as an apprentice at a local IFA, as I made the decision that university wasn’t for me, instead I wanted to get stuck into a career. At this stage, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I soon learned more about the industry and found the path I wanted to follow.

“After one year of being at Saltus I became Head of Paraplanning and after two years I was offered the opportunity to become a Partner.”

 

Since joining the Saltus team I have been lucky enough to have a number of great opportunities open up to me. After one year of being at Saltus, I became Head of Paraplanning and after two years I was offered the opportunity to become a Partner, it has been fantastic to feel so encouraged to develop myself and succeed.

I am so grateful for the support, encouragement and mentoring I have experienced since joining Saltus, from both my peers and our management team. Whilst working at Saltus I have also been supported with my personal development, through industry and management qualifications.

Using my experiences, I hope to help other women develop their careers in this industry and ensure I pass on the brilliant support and encouragement I have experienced at Saltus.

Kay

On International Women’s Day, it is good to be able to reflect over the years of my career and see how far we have come. Starting out at a traditional UK merchant bank, women were certainly welcome in the workplace and I was positively encouraged to take my company secretarial exams, make the coffee and administrate. However, it was pretty clear that unless you were male and Oxbridge educated, becoming an investment manager would never be on the cards.

To be given front line opportunities, I moved to work for an American bank that operated a much more meritocratic environment and I was soon to find myself hanging off several telephones on a trading floor, advising large, international institutional clients, albeit still a very male-dominated environment.

“It is a real pleasure to see so many hugely talented, motivated and hard-working women working alongside me.”

 

When I look around me at Saltus today, it is a real pleasure to see so many hugely talented, motivated and hard-working women working alongside me, across all ages and in numerous disciplines. Saltus is clearly leading the way in this respect, which you can see immediately as you step into a PFS (our professional body) conference in a demographic that is still very polarised.

In the advice arena, it is so personal and all the more important to have a range of styles, approaches and demographics on your team, so you can find the most suitable match for your clients.

This industry journey from the male-dominated environment I began in, to the diverse and inclusive workplace at Saltus that I am part of today, demonstrates the limitless options of what women can achieve.

Saltus Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority. Information is correct to the best of our understanding as at the date of publication. Nothing within this content is intended as, or can be relied upon, as financial advice. Capital is at risk. You may get back less than you invested.

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