‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’
By Tony Sanchez
In our latest Women in Finance Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Sherice Neil, Regional Sales Manager at Tuscan Capital.
Sherice began her property finance career working in the post-completion department of a conveyancing firm for five years.
In September 2012, Sherice joined MT Finance as one of their first members of staff, starting out as an Executive Assistant before being promoted to the role of Business Development Manager (BDM) within her first year. During her nine years at MT Finance, she ended up as its Head of New Business.
In January 2022, Sherice joined Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB), where she spent just under a year as Head of the New Business department within its Specialist Mortgage division.
Missing the fast-paced nature of bridging finance, Sherice joined Tuscan Capital in January 2023 as Regional Sales Manager for the Wales to London/M4 corridor region and the South West of England.
In her role as Regional Sales Manager, Sherice will be responsible for developing and maintaining key accounts and supporting brokers during the loan process.
Away from the office, Sherice is a busy mum of two and if she has any spare time, she enjoys skiing, salsa, paddleboarding, and long hikes with her dogs.
What brought you into financial services?
I never initially wanted to be in finance. I worked with the Director of MT Finance in a law firm.
He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and convinced me to join his up-and-coming bridging company and I’ve never looked back.
What do you think makes a successful leader? And in particular women leaders?
In my experience, it’s those who lead from the front. Those prepared to get their hands dirty and encourage their team to do the same whilst offering support and encouragement.
I think those who make the biggest impact really aren’t aware of the impact they make because they treat people the same. From the new starters and office juniors to the CEOs and directors.
What are the biggest barriers you have faced in your career in financial services?
I can’t really say as a woman that I’ve faced any more barriers than a man in the industry has. Just being pro-active and getting the job done installs trust in you.
It’s no secret that the industry was male dominated and that knowledge alone may have knocked my confidence at the time and there have been occasions where I’ve felt overlooked.
However, I was confident in my company and the backing of my bosses helped overcome that
If you could tell your younger self one thing you know about business now, what would it be?
I’d tell myself that nothing is as scary as you think it’s going to be.
Don’t let being afraid hold you back from what could be an amazing relationship or networking opportunity.
What’s your own personal mantra?
“Feel the fear and do it anyway” as my mum always used to say.
What do you think is key for finding a successful work-life balance?
Making sure there is one!! But also making sure you get outdoors and see the world beyond your laptop.
I like to paddle board and there is nothing better than finishing work and within an hour you are out on open water worlds away from work.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Own your mistakes and never make excuses. There is nothing more empowering than being honest. Whether it works out or not, it shows integrity and the willingness to learn.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Don’t look for the glass ceiling. Whatever gender you are, it’s your passion that drives your team.
Keep your focus on where you want to go and never be afraid to ask for advice and help.
What do you think is holding women back?
Themselves. The belief that there is a divide. I think if women understood more about what they bring to the table rather than worrying about what they don’t then there would be no holding back.
We really are a force to be reckoned with.
Do you think there is still a glass ceiling?
Whilst the majority of decision makers are still men, I don’t believe that is due to a glass ceiling.
I believe women have more freedom to choose more of a work-life balance and that’s what we have done. It’s not really something I’ve experienced.
What are your thoughts on the Women in Finance Charter?
I think it brings to light the struggles and issues women have faced. Which is a good thing.
I also think it highlights that it’s not just women leading women into greatness though as most women in this industry have had a male role model to learn from. I think that should be highlighted just as positively.
How do we encourage more women into financial services?
Hmm tough one, I guess just continuing to show young women that this is no longer a male dominated industry and you can succeed in any role with the right mindset.
The gender pay gap is only second worst to the construction industry. What can organisations do to address this?
Is it though? Women tend to accept what they are given as opposed to fighting for their worth.
Men will ask for that pay rise if they think they deserve it, so should women.
It’s not up to the organisation to always recognise your worth rather it’s up to us to highlight and ask.
At least that will give them an understanding of what they need to achieve to make it happen.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Personally – That would be my kids. I have two amazing boys that make me laugh even on my darkest days. They are without a doubt my proudest achievement.
Professionally – Being recognized in my industry and by my peers as someone who gets things done and overcomes obstacles.