‘Never be afraid to be successful’
By Tony Sanchez
In our latest Women in Finance Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Ellie Boys, Talent Manager for Financial Services at NRG Resourcing.
Having worked in the financial services for over half a decade, Ellie has not been one to shy away from vocalising about women in finance and what an honour it is to work alongside some powerful women.
Before venturing into the world of financial services, Ellie worked in real estate which pretty much had the same stance as financial services.
Passionate about women in the industry and showing them that they can have it all. Ellie works full time in the industry, has a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, keeps her household running and also runs a small events business on the weekend.
Having always been told as women it is hard to have it all, Ellie wants to help show females that they can.
“We’ve had more obstacles to overcome and more opinions to change, but if we come together and celebrate, promote and encourage women to join the industry, there really is no stopping us” she says.
What brought you into financial services?
I started my career originally in real estate and property when I was 18.
After a couple of years working in a branch, I found myself wanting to book mortgage appointments for my team over anything else!
The weekly power hour for booking FS appointments were my favourite and when our broker had appointments in the branch, I would find myself listening in! It fascinated me that there was so much to be learnt!
So, I began my search in FS, landing my first ever job at Mortgages for Business as a Case Manager and then onto the sister company Keystone Property Finance as an Internal Business Manager.
I have now recently moved into financial services recruitment with NRG Resourcing and I am so excited to see where the future takes me, especially with using my knowledge and skills learnt to help create a personal brand to encourage more women to join.
What do you think makes a successful leader? And in particular women leaders?
Communication, resilience, inclusion, and encouragement!
I think being a successful leader means that you need to be able to communicate across your team clearly and concisely.
Being fully transparent whether that’s when you’re communicating facts and figures or other people’s opinions and emotions.
This leads me onto inclusion. Including all your team, part timers, full timers, working parents and everything in between. Making sure everyone feels valid and heard.
To be a good leader, you need to be able to grow your team. So encouragement, progression and growth are so important.
Encouraging your team to push and expand their abilities, master their skills and put their trust in you that you’ll be there to help encourage them when they need it.
For women in particularly, I think resilience is a big point to touch on.
During your journey of being a successful leader you will face a fair few no’s, obstacles and challenges, but how you deal with them determines the outcome and being a leader you will be someone that people look up to.
Showing that you never give up when times get tough, voicing your opinions as a woman in a fairly male dominated industry not only shows resilience but strength too.
What are the biggest barriers you have faced in your career in financial services?
I would say social media has been a barrier I have faced within the industry.
It is so easy to network, promote, grow your business and feel heard in the modern age when you post online.
With things like Tik Tok, Instagram Reels and Live stories and webinars becoming so popular with the younger generation, I can see our industry moving this way too, for some it already has.
I think some businesses need to utilise and encourage this more, stepping away from the corporate identity side of things and become relatable to clients yet still promoting, encouraging and networking.
Have a little fun with things, they don’t always have to be so black and white!
If you could tell your younger self one thing you know about business now, what would it be?
Stay true to yourself, stay consistent and never believe that you can’t have it all!
What’s your own personal mantra?
You will only get back what you put in. Never be afraid to be successful.
What do you think is key for finding a successful work-life balance?
Taking time to switch off. Something I will admittedly say that I do struggle with. Being a very impulsive extrovert when I have an idea, I have to act on it there and then!
But switching off when I am around the people close to me, whether that’s going for a walk or out for the day with my husband and children.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
I recently listening to a podcast where the guest mentioned something called active listening.
After hearing about it, I think more people need to train their brains to do this not only in working relationships but personal too.
Reflection, Validation and Contribution. Reflection, I hear what you’re saying… Validation, I understand why you think/feel that way… Contribution, here is my opinion and feelings…
If you validate what other people think and feel, even if you don’t agree, you will have a better understanding and create better ground when you build the relationship.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Don’t give up! Women are leading, women are earning, women are encouraging! Also, to lean on other women in the industry.
Supporting each other is so important, whether its uplifting, working together on projects or offering a helping hand.
Finally, don’t be afraid to speak up and offer your input. Women naturally have a more compassionate nature, so sometimes when things are being looked at from a compassionate perspective when needed your input could change the face of things for the better.
What do you think is holding women back?
I truly believe, not just for women, but the lack of teaching about real life in early education holds people back when they first venture into their careers.
From adolescent age, you’re expected to know what subjects to choose and career path you would like a future in, when a few years before you were sitting in a classroom learning your ABC’s.
I think real life skill lessons about what we utilise everyday with finances, budgeting, managing expectations and priorities needs to be introduced.
Especially when our working lives are modelled making enough to pay our bills, keeping on top of finances so we have good credit and everything in between.
Do you think there is still a glass ceiling?
Although it has recently improved with things like The Women’s Recognition Awards, I do think there is still a stigma when it comes to internally promoting, you are all offered the same pay structure when first employed, but the climb up the hierarchy can sometimes be slightly different for women, especially when with families and I think some businesses need to look into this more.
Women shouldn’t feel like having a family disables them from achieving as much as a male would in the industry.
What are your thoughts on the Women in Finance Charter?
Personally, I love the idea of the Women in Finance Charter! It is sad that this is something that must be introduced, but anything to help aid the encouragement of women joining the financial services industry the better!
Something that I think could be made mandatory for all companies of a certain scale.
How do we encourage more women into financial services?
Celebrating every success as much as we can!
The word peacocking can come to mind when thinking about some males within the industry, so why shouldn’t we women shout our wins from the rooftop too!
Also, I think setting up a Women’s in Finance Association type thing where women can come together whether that’s monthly or quarterly, and discuss the market, the wins, and the fails, and just genuinely supporting each other and networking with each other.
The gender pay gap is only second worst to the construction industry. What can organisations do to address this?
When searching through your job specs online, it is never mentioned about what gender is preferred when hiring.
It surprises me that there this is still an issue that arises, but as mentioned before I can see where this is an issue when it comes to internal promotions.
If women need to take time off to have a family, promotions can be made during this time, that when returning they’ve dropped down the hierarchy. I do think some businesses need to readdress how certain decisions are made.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I would say how I am currently! I have had my 2 young children, I am married, have a full-time job and a small events business on the weekends.
I don’t base being rich on how much money you have in the bank. I base it in life with relationships, family, friends, love and opportunities, and I feel so grateful to have the life I do. So that for me is my biggest achievement.