International Women’s Day is a day to educate and raise awareness for women's equality. It is important to celebrate women's achievements and increasing visibility but remembering to call out the inequality that is still occurring and call for positive change.
This International Women’s Day, Frontier Development Capital chose to speak to Investment Manager Kathryn for our team spotlight series, and we asked why International Women’s Day is so important.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I joined FDC in January 2017 post completion of my Masters Degree in Health Psychology from Aston University.
Having been with the business for over 6 years, I originally joined in an Operations role, supporting the growing team in their day-to-day tasks. I then started my ACA qualification, with FDC as sponsor and moved over to the Portfolio team and spent a few years as Portfolio Manager, before most recently taking on a new role as Investment Manager as a newly-qualified Chartered Accountant.
What is your role at FDC?
My role at FDC as Investment Manager involves working closely with other members of the Growth Capital investment team on deal completions, alongside originating and delivering SME funding opportunities across the Midlands.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Treat others how you want to be treated.”
Why FDC? What drew you to the family?
Having been with the business for the majority of my 20’s, what drew me to FDC was the morals and values at the core of the organisation and genuine care that the business has for its employees.
International Women’s Day
What do you think is the biggest struggle for women working in the finance industry?
I think the biggest struggle for women working the finance industry is gender bias and the limited opportunities for advancement to top leadership positions, alongside the work-life balance challenges, particularly when starting a family.
What does the finance industry as a whole need to do to reduce gender bias?
I believe the finance industry should place more emphasis on diversity and inclusion policies from the top down. Leaders in the industry should make it clear that gender bias will not be tolerated, and employees should be hired, evaluated, and rewarded based solely on their qualifications, experience, and abilities.
What inspired your career in finance?
I always enjoyed the objectivity of calculations when studying at school, the idea that there was a “right” or a “wrong” answer; breaking into an industry that is heavily male-dominated and wanting to make a change.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to get into the finance industry?
Say yes to as many opportunities as you can, as this will allow you to learn and grow and achieve your goals. Also building a network of professionals in the industry through networking events, social media, or mentorship programs is invaluable.
Is there anyone you look up to/ is your inspiration?
As cliché as it sounds, my Mum has always been my biggest inspiration. I am also surrounded by many inspirational friends who have been through a lot in life and have always bounced back stronger.
Why is International Women’s Day important to you?
IWD is important because it raises awareness about the struggle for gender equality and women’s rights, not just in the UK but around the world. IWD provides a platform to address these issues and advocate for change. It also celebrates the achievements of women and their contributions, not just in the finance industry but in society and culture in general.
Quick fire round
What is your favourite hobby and why?
I have recently taken up paddle boarding and I love it, so I can’t wait for the weather to warm up a bit to get out there again.
Last destination you travelled to and the next one you aspire to go?
Meribel, France (a non-skier on a skiing holiday!)
I have always wanted to travel to Asia so that is definitely next on the list, but my honeymoon in Mexico next July will take priority!
One interesting fact about yourself.
I spent a month volunteering in Uganda where we built two playgrounds for a school in Jinja.