‘Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and have faith in your own ability’
By Tony Sanchez
In our latest Women in Finance Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Amanda Lammers, Business Development Manager (BDM) for Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries, part of the OSB Group.
Amanda is part of the dual branded BDM team which operates over Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries.
Amanda, who is CeMap qualified, has been in her existing role for two years but has worked in the financial industry for 11 years in total.
What brought you into financial services?
I have worked in the financial services sector all of my career and it was evident to me that there was a lot of potential to develop and progress.
I found that I was drawn to the mortgage sector in particular as I liked helping clients find the most suitable product for their needs.
From there I can only thank the fantastic BDMs that I had built great relationships with for their support which in turn motivated me to jump ship into the BDM world myself.
I spent four-and-a-half years at Coventry Building Society and from there became a BDM for Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries.
What are the biggest barriers you have faced in your career in financial services?
The biggest barriers I have faced was my lack of experience as I left university in 2010 with an Art degree.
I feel that the key is to be patient, passionate and motivated about what areas, skills and experiences interest you.
Also, building a strong, positive relationship with your managers really helps as this led me to study for my CeMap to give mortgage advice after showing a keen interest in that side of our industry.
This is what really kick started my career in the finance sector and helped me to develop in my chosen career path for the BDM role I am in today.
If you could tell your younger self one thing you know about business now, what would it be?
I think from my perspective, it’s about the importance of listening to other points of view and perspectives in order to draw up the bigger picture.
It’s also important to have the confidence in yourself to bring your view to the table too.
I think collaborative thinking is key in business, especially in specialist finance and working closely with brokers.
What’s your own personal mantra?
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and have faith in your own ability.
Also, having an open and honest relationship with my brokers as this means we usually get all the information we need on a case upfront and this helps us to foresee any possible issues and gets the case through to completion in an effective manner.
What do you think is key for finding a successful work-life balance?
I think it’s safe to say that we all fall victim at one time or another in ploughing all our energy into our careers and it’s a difficult balance to strike and get right.
It’s not always easy to find time to connect with friends or colleagues after work for those that have family commitments but if you can, even if it’s once a month, try to!
It’s a great way to switch your mind off from the busy working week or you may just need a sounding board that isn’t your loved ones at home.
I think the pandemic taught us a lot of things, but one thing in particular is about the importance of downtime and connecting with people and the things you enjoy doing.
I do honestly believe that investing time in your ‘down time’ enables us to feel more in control of the right balance.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
I‘ve always felt empowered when the person leading me is honest and open but has the ability to do it respectfully too.
People aren’t going to get things right 100% of the time and that’s okay because it allows us to learn and grow.
This is something that I apply to my own leadership skills.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
My answer for this isn’t really gender specific, it’s crucial to maintain and build on your professional relationships as your career develops.
In the financial sector, we‘re lucky to work in an industry that tends to retain good people.
If you work hard at maintaining these relationships, it’ll help you in the long run when you decide to make that next career move.
What do you think is holding women back?
It’s not an easy question to answer but from my perspective the main thing holding women back can be around starting their own families.
I’ve seen far more women making the decision to put having a family on hold.
This may be for a number of reasons, partly because they want to reach the peak of their career before making children a priority or more commonly these days for financial reasons and the need to keep working for longer in order to support a family or buy that first home.
What are your thoughts on the Women in Finance Charter?
In my opinion, the commitment by firms to take on board the Women in Finance Charter is crucial.
We all benefit from being part of a diverse workforce and I’m pleased to see increased awareness around subjects such as menopause and mental health as it’s important that these subjects are discussed openly and not regarded as taboo subjects.
How do we encourage more women into financial services?
My younger self would not have seen financial services as the most exciting industry to be a part of but what I didn’t realise was the endless paths that you can choose to take during your career.
Perhaps we can teach young women more about the opportunities available within the sector.
Thankfully, we now have great platforms such as LinkedIn where we can read articles and comments from successful women offering their experiences, views and advice.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is a personal one, it was buying my flat.
Over the past few years, all the talk about rising house prices and volatility have been daunting and at times saving for a deposit can feel like an unachievable goal.
However, when you finally get there, there is a mixture of relief and accomplishment.
It’s something I have worked so hard for and was such a great achievement once those keys were mine.