‘Be dependable, inclusive, reliable, kind and decisive’

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Belinda Roughton

In our latest Women in Finance Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Belinda Roughton, Director at Invoice Finance Solutions Limited t/a Property and Business Finance.

Belinda set up her own finance brokerage in 2002 having worked in the finance industry for many years.

Helping clients with their business funding needs including property, cashflow and asset finance.

With a great reputation for client service and for getting deals done Belinda is still as passionate about supporting businesses as she has ever been.

What brought you into financial services?

I would love to say it was all part of my planned career path but in reality it was by sheer fluke.

Having taken a finance agreement with a lender I used to go in every month to make the repayments.

We always used to chat and have a laugh and a joke. Then out of the blue I got asked to go for an interview as they were recruiting for a Customer Services Assistant and thought I would be ideal.

Long story short I took the job, loved it and ended up being the youngest person they had ever had on their management programme.

Little did I know that this would lead to what has become an absolute passion.

Working with lots of amazing clients, funders and introducers to help them achieve their dreams and goals.

I totally love what I do, some days may be more ‘challenging’ at times than others, but it never feels like work.

What do you think makes a successful leader? And in particular women leaders?

To me a successful leader, female or male, is someone who cheers their team on.

Who empowers them to make decisions and who doesn’t feel threatened by their rising stars but instead encourages, helps and supports them on their journey.

What are the biggest barriers you have faced in your career in financial services?

Other than the initial uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic when some lenders pulled funding at the 11th hour I’ve been really fortunate not to have faced any particular barriers in my career.

And I’m very grateful for that.

If you could tell your younger self one thing you know about business now, what would it be? 

That there is never a day when you don’t learn something new.

That actually all businesses are about people and we should always take the time to listen and learn from everyone we come across in both our professional and personal lives

What’s your own personal mantra?

There is no such word as can’t.

What do you think is key for finding a successful work-life balance?

I’m a real list person and uber organised. Give people time, both in your personal and professional life.

Be in the moment, put the phone down, focus on the person or people you are with.

Never forget there is more to life than work, you can have a successful career and enjoy time with loved ones, it’s not an either/or scenario.

What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?

Be dependable, inclusive, reliable, kind and decisive.

What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?

Focus on where you want to go. Make a plan and continually reassess this to keep you on track.

Learn from others. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t get there, you can.

What do you think is holding women back?

Lack of self belief. Feeling guilty about trying to balance family life with a career.

Do you think there is still a glass ceiling?

This isn’t something I’ve ever experienced fortunately. But that’s not to say it doesn’t still exist.

All organisations should recognise everyone based on their talent and abilities, not their gender.

What are your thoughts on the Women in Finance Charter? 

It’s an excellent initiative.

There is a big part of me that is sad that this is even needed but hopefully this will ensure that no one is left behind or overlooked based purely on their gender.

How do we encourage more women into financial services? 

By keep demonstrating what a vibrant, dynamic and rewarding sector financial services is to work in.

Employers can help by providing flexible working conditions to enable women to balance family life and work life in a way which works for everyone.

The gender pay gap is only second worst to the construction industry. What can organisations do to address this?

This was a shock to me seeing this statistic.  Organisations need to recognise talent, reward success and operate a level playing field where everyone is valued equally.

This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages!

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Professionally my biggest achievement to date has been to trade for 19 years as an independent ethical broker, helping many clients to achieve their goals and dreams.

Personally one of my biggest achievements has been to raise over £60k for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my cousin who sadly passed away from cancer.