‘Believe in yourself and walk towards the things that scare you the most’


Liza Campion Market Financial Solutions wif

In our latest Women in Finance Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Liza Campion, Head of National Accounts at Market Financial Solutions.

Liza has a wealth of industry experience that spans across three decades in the specialist mortgage sector, from running mortgage desks with the likes of Legal & General in her earlier career, to successfully running a not-for-profit packager association with a £2bn pa turnover, and more recently implementing and building a hugely successful key accounts team with the likes of Precise Mortgages.

Her extensive market knowledge and understanding of all distribution channels means she is well placed to head up MFS’ National Accounts team.

What brought you into financial services?

I started life with Scottish Life on a YTS scheme back in 1986 so you could say I fell into it, but found I have a natural flair for placing mortgages.

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

So many things ….

For me I like to lead by example, listening to what people say and really want, thinking outside of the box and solution solving.

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

When I first entered the industry age as well as being female was a challenge.

The lady I worked for at Scottish Life was the first ever female life inspector and she was a real inspiration to me and demonstrated that anything is possible…

On many occasions in the early days being asked if they could speak to someone senior as I was too young to know my craft was challenging, until they spoke to me and then realised that I did know what I was talking about however it was very much a perception.

I’m pleased to say that for me I do see that this has improved certainly from a female perspective but diversity as a whole I believe there is still a way to go.

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

Believe in yourself and walk towards the things that scare you the most.

What’s your own personal mantra?

Don’t have a what if!  Believe and you can.

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

Yikes…. This is definitely not my strength as a confessed workaholic, however it is really important otherwise you can burn yourself out.

Having cut off times, even booking them in your or have alarms set to remind you if that fails.

I’ve also found that having the ability to put phone on ‘do not disturb’ is really good otherwise those emails and notifications just keep coming through and its difficult to switch off.

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

Never assume…….. you know what they say!

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

Grow your network, speak to everyone in leadership regardless of their gender for insights on how they achieved what they did this will help you build a rounded perception of what you need

What do you think is holding women back?

Imposter Syndrome  – definitely – I did a course last year on this.

It was open to all staff however only ONE man that attended it was packed with women!

Do you think there is still a glass ceiling?

There most definitely has been but as the spot line is shone more on this subject,  employers are more self aware and it’s definitely improving, based on my own experience.

How do we encourage more women into financial services? 

Start early – get into schools and show what the art of the possible is – we need to bring it alive as to why it’s a fantastic industry to be in

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

It’s difficult as whilst I have worked for employers where I know that has been the case, over recent years they have addressed it.

The more as an industry we shine a light on it the more employers will have to stand up and listen and if not sadly hitting the pockets of those that don’t will be the only way.

Ultimately it should be down to someone’s ability not their gender.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Having suffered with imposter syndrome all my working career, in the last recession I decided to take the bull by the horns and prove to myself that I was intelligent enough.

It’s a bit extreme, but I had only ever taken CSE’s at school, having moved schools almost every year and always felt less intelligent and one step behind, which then filtered into my working life of self-doubt.

I therefore put myself through a degree to see if I could do it.

I came top in my year and the highest grade since the course had started 9 years prior and walked away with a first Class BA Hons.

Finally, I was able to put that self-doubt to bed… it was liberating!