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The challenges I faced as a woman in finance

10 days ago

Jane Goodland

Corporate Affairs Director

This article first appeared in New Model Adviser on 7 March 2019

When Jane Goodland left her asset management job at 5pm to pick up her children someone shouted across the office: 'See you later, part-timer'. She argues why we need to challenge cultural norms for women in financial services.

Jane Goodland has risen through the ranks of various asset managers including Janus Henderson and HSBC Global Asset Management. During that time, she has faced challenges because of her gender.

A ‘low point’ for Goodland came when she had her first baby and left the office at 5pm every day to pick her child up from nursery. This, she noticed, was causing animosity among some of her colleagues.

‘One day I was walking out and someone shouted across the office; “see you later, part-timer”. It vocalised what I felt inside at the time [a sense of conflict and guilt]. I just thought: “wow, this is the cultural norm I have to burst through and not worry about, because I know I am doing a good job”.’

Now corporate affairs director at Quilter, Goodland says it is important all women in financial services take a proactive approach to their careers and ‘take responsibility for their own career progression’.

‘Don’t sit there and wait for someone to recognise the good work you have done. If you want to progress, you have to help yourself.’
Goodland believes women tend to be ‘less assertive’ and do not apply for jobs where they don’t feel they can do everything on the job specification – whereas men often do.

‘We know men typically feel more comfortable asking for progression, promotion and pay rises, whereas women tend to be more reserved.’

What has changed in the past 20 years for women in financial services?

‘Today there are more women in senior management positions, but there are still too few women entering revenue-generating roles and frontline investment management roles. If you take financial advice as a profession, we have a woeful lack of female advisers.’