Women of Equals Money

IWD 2022: Hear from the women of Equals Money

Anna Meehan
Anna Meehan 11 March 2022

International Women's Day might be over, but we're still celebrating the achievements and contributions of women at Equals Money. We've still got a way to go, but we're working every day to help break the bias. 

Read on to hear from the women of Equals Money about the challenges they've been through, how they've been supported in their careers, and what they value as a working woman. 

Want to learn more about life at Equals and our company culture?

Life at EqualsKat Cluett - Lead UX Product Design 

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Kat

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

While working at Equals, I've been pregnant, on maternity leave and returned back to work full time. Balancing family life and my career is challenging in many ways. Having flexible working arrangements, both before and during the pandemic, has made the world of difference.

How have you been supported in your career?

I've been fortunate to work with and learn from some fantastic people over the years, who have spotted my potential and given me opportunities to grow and develop.

Bella Eckert - Head of Growth 

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Bella

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them? 

When I first took on a large programme of work, there were a number of calls where I was the only woman on the calls with suppliers and partners - and I was also younger by a long way. I really had to learn to make my voice heard. As the project manager I had the most detail, but I was cautious of diving in for fear of offending or seeming ‘too pushy’. While I felt supported by our senior team, it took time for me to gain the confidence to (politely) interject to steer the conversation, or when I thought the conversation was either going down the wrong path or incorrect information was shared. Ultimately it came down to experience and learning that I was in control of how people perceived me.

How have you been supported in your career?

In my time here I’ve never been told a flat ‘no’ to an idea or to my next project or step in my career. I’ve found the exec to be open to suggestions for improvements, and the voices on the SLT and project teams to be balanced, with women often leading the charge on technical streams.

What do you value as a woman working at Equals?

I value the team around me - I’m constantly inspired by the drive and skill I see across Growth and the wider team, being invited to Board meetings to convey updates first-hand, and being consulted on key strategic decisions. I’ve been pleased to see the flexibility offered to working mums, in extended maternity leave, hybrid working and flexibility of working days and hours.

Annie Fang - Senior Product Designer 

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Annie Fang

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

One of my greatest challenges was changing my job title to become a designer. At my previous company, I started off as an admin, and design didn’t really exist as a role yet in the company. This company was also mostly male, where only 10% of the employees were women. The challenge was trying to bring design to the table.

I started to spend all my spare time learning about product design. I’m incredibly thankful that I had a very supportive manager who encouraged me to go to design conferences to further my growth and even organised a design thinking workshop with me without even being a designer herself. To prove the value of design, I applied everything I learned about UX/UI to tackle a variety of projects. Eventually, I was able change my role from admin to design, I most importantly, I helped and carve a solid place for design in the company.

How have you been supported in your career?

I’m really thankful that I've had a lot of incredible people that I’ve worked with who have supported my growth and learning in becoming a better designer. At Equals, I feel like I always have a space to hone in on my skills or even learn something new.

What do you value as a woman working at Equals?

We have a lot of talented women who are also great leaders. I think it’s amazing to work alongside them. I always feel like I can learn a lot from them, and they inspire me every single day.

Molly Lewis - People Business Partner

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Molly

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

Being a young woman in a position where I often need to challenge senior males in the business.

What would you consider to be the greatest achievement in your career?

Completing CIPD L5 and commencing L7 and being able to buy my first home at 25.

How have you been supported in your career?

My support has come from having a strong female role model and mentor in the business (Shona). She has believed in me from day one and often at times when I didn’t.

Sandra Sanz - Head of Product Design

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Sandra

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

Being a woman, a foreigner and a mother sometimes complicates things a bit, but I have always believed that if you want, you can. You just have to work harder and learn that you can't be perfect - just try your best and enjoy along the way.

What would you consider to be the greatest achievement in your career?

Handling both career and family.

How have you been supported in your career?

Equals has been a ride! The best part is the constant challenge and opportunities this company offers and the people you get to work with. [I value] the flexibility and the equal treatment [here]. There is a place for all and each individual brings a huge value no matter where you came from.

Nargis Khatri - Broker Support Executive 

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Nargis

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

I work in a team of men only but have not let that deter me from giving the best I could. I stand my ground and do just as much as the men around me do.

What would you consider to be the greatest achievement in your career?

Progression to get to a position which I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to everyday without having to compromise my Islamic beliefs.

Gill Irvine - Group Head of Operations 

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Gill

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

Having 3 children has been fantastic but also very hard to juggle with working full time. Trying to spend time with my family but also still wanting to give 110% to my job and wanting to be available for both my family and work has been really difficult. Luckily for me work have been fantastic and really supportive. I started off as a Team Manager, I’ve had 3 children and now head up Operations. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

What would you consider to be the greatest achievement in your career?

I started out in finance on the phones cold calling. I now lead a fantastic team as Group Head of Operations for a company offering money management solutions for both retail and corporate customers. I’d say that was my greatest achievement.

How have you been supported in your career?

I’ve always been encouraged to strive for more and apply for roles within the business. I’ve been on courses, I’ve been taken out of my comfort zone and I’ve learnt to deal with many situations that has given me the confidence to progress.

Annie Ferreira - Training and Development Lead 

EM_IWD2022_Testimonial_Annie

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

Being a woman in management positions can be challenging. I often had to become more assertive and somehow rude to make others respect me and listen to me, which was hard on my health as I was becoming someone I was not. I overcame that when I realised that you don't need to shout, be mean and show no emotions for others to hear you and respect you.

What would you consider to be the greatest achievement in your career?

This one makes me think, as I believe I have had more than one achievement. Probably the biggest one was to learn how to share my thoughts clearly, to be who I am and not apologise for having emotions.

How have you been supported in your career?

Throughout my career I have been supported by other amazing women. They showed me how to work with confidence and achieve greatness without needing to change who you are just because we are female.

What do you value as a woman working at Equals?

I value my integrity, being seen as an equal to my male colleagues and knowing my opinion matters just as much as anyone else.

Life at Equals