‘Don’t be afraid to accept constructive feedback’
By Tony Sanchez
In our latest Women in Finance Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Roxanne Goodman, managing director at Goodman Corporate Finance and founder at Female Founder Finance.
Roxanne has been director at Goodman Corporate Finance for 13 years, recently promoted to MD.
She launched Female Founder Finance in June 2023, the first female-led commercial finance boutique, providing female entrepreneurs access to the first wholly female circle of commercial financiers in the UK.
What brought you into financial services?
I kind of fell into finance by accident really. Having worked previously in building society offices, made the move across to industry as a temp support staff, then never left!
I did study business and maths at A level, but my passion was always helping people.
What do you think makes a successful leader? And in particular women leaders?
I think being successful is difficult to measure. It’s not just about money in the bank.
For me it’s about being the person someone thinks to call when they need help, having built a solid foundation of trust or expertise.
Female leaders should take pride in their ability to empower those around them to be the best version of themselves they can be.
What are the biggest barriers you have faced in your career in financial services?
I’d have to say that finance is still a heavily male dominant industry and there is a lack of female role models, that said there are some incredible female powerhouses coming through out there and as a collective we have the ability to drive real change through conscious and unconscious bias that is so prevalent through the finance industry.
If you could tell your younger self one thing you know about business now, what would it be?
Every day is a school day. Don’t be afraid to accept constructive feedback, even if it’s not what you want or think you need to hear.
What’s your own personal mantra?
As a child at school we had to recite daily in assembly “do as you would be done by” and its always stuck with me.
Don’t treat others as you wouldn’t expect to be treated yourself.
What do you think is key for finding a successful work-life balance?
Planning and organisation. Running a very successful and busy commercial finance brokerage and getting a new one off the ground is challenging to say the least.
Add in running a home with a 4 year-old in it is like wading through treacle sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I find that being busy is when I’m at my best and my ability to focus and prioritise has been tested for sure.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
I find it hard to trust people. Having had some bad experiences with people you think you know and then the rug gets pulled out from under you does hurt.
I suppose a key lesson I need to remember myself is that not everyone is the same.
People have different motivations in life. For some it’s money and for some it’s deeper than that.
The ability to build close relationships with the people I manage in the office and my colleagues and peers in the industry is really important to me.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Don’t hesitate, you should go with your gut and go for it.
If you get knocked back. Don’t take it personally. Everything happens for a reason.
What do you think is holding women back?
That’s a difficult one to answer. It could be a lack of confidence; women especially tend to feel like they are sometimes not good enough or lack the confidence to make the step up.
When in fact more often than not, they are and more so. It can be really easy to doubt yourself if you are the only female voice in room.
Do you think there is still a glass ceiling?
I do to a certain extent, however having females in key inspirational roles such as Anne Boden at Starling Bank and Alison Rose at NatWest is paving the way for women in our industry.
What are your thoughts on the Women in Finance Charter?
I’m proud to be a signatory on the women in finance charter.
At Goodman Corporate we exceeded our initial target early and it can only be seen as a positive step in driving the change to turn the dial on gender bias.
How do we encourage more women into financial services?
I believe that education is key in this.
Promoting the support that networking groups alongside trade associations such as the NACFB and the support they can provide for commercial finance brokers.
The gender pay gap is only second worst to the construction industry. What can organisations do to address this?
We don’t discriminate at Goodman Corporate and our male colleagues received the same as our female ones.
However, I am crucially aware this isn’t the norm. Salary should be paid on performance not gender.
Again, this could be corrected through education and support. Some businesses have equality policies but it’s ensuring they are following them that will drive change forwards.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Obviously, my little boy is my greatest achievement personally.
However, having the platform and ability to not only drive forward a successful business but to start and scale a new venture that has the ability to drive real change in turning the dial in equality, is truly exciting!
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute.