Redsquid’s Wonder Woman – Sarah

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we’re taking the time to sit down with some of the women from our office to find out what gender equality means to them and some of the challenges they face. Today we’re talking with Sarah from our Finance department.

The theme this year for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual; What does gender equality mean to you in your work life?

Gender equality means equal pay and equal opportunities in my work life. It also means working in an environment where people don’t make assumptions about you based on your gender.

Why did you choose to become Finance Analyst?

I chose to become a Finance Analyst to progress my career towards becoming a Finance Director.

Is there anyone (male or female) that inspires you and why?

Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) inspires me. I am a big superhero fan and Wonder Woman was a really important film to me. It’s the first female-led superhero film in over a decade, and it’s the first to be directed by a woman.

Gal Gadot was 5 months pregnant during filming and I always thought this was really amazing. When she was cast there was so much criticism about her and about the film but it turned out to be a huge success. She played the role of the iconic character so well despite criticism and doubt. She inspires me because she is a woman that doesn’t let anything hold her back.

What was your dream job when you were growing up?

When I was growing up my dream job was to be a Doctor, Biology was my favourite subject and I have always wanted to help people.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in Finance?

My advice would be to try and learn as much as you can about the different roles in the finance department. This will help you to understand the bigger picture and set strong foundations for your future career. Efficiency is extremely important in a financial role. I would also say it is very important to be creative in any role you are in.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Although we are making progress in terms of equal opportunities, I think there are still a lot of social assumptions/expectations that will be difficult to overcome. When I think of career driven women I often think of this quote “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.” (Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead). I think both men and women need to challenge the way they think of both genders and the assumptions they make. I believe social expectations may be one of the biggest challenges to overcome.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

My message would be that it is ok if you don’t know what you want to do with your career from a young age. Everyone is always asking you what you want to be when you are older, but the truth is this is something that may always be changing.

When I left school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I started working as an administrative assistant and I wasn’t really thinking about my future career. Through working, I discovered what I enjoyed doing and I worked my way up through different roles. I realised that there was a limit to what I could achieve due to my qualifications, so I started to study for a degree.

This gave me a really good indication as to what career I would like to progress towards. I completed my degree and now I am progressing towards my career goal of becoming a Finance Director. Everyone has a different journey towards their goals, you don’t have to do things the same way as everyone else to be successful.

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