Written by Marta Smullen (Financial Controller in Ward Solutions Ltd)
There are a lot of scientific articles out there on women in business. The advantages that women entrepreneurs have over men and the benefit of diversity in a workplace. I cannot possibly write an article that would be of a similar caliber, purely because I am not an expert in this field, I am an accountant, not a business coach or psychologist. I am, however, a woman in business and a member of the Ward Solutions Senior Leadership Team and over the last 10 years I have gained a lot of experience that I would like to share with you now.
I will start with pointing out how important it is to find the right workplace. A workplace that will appreciate women, their strengths and capabilities and give them an opportunity to prove themselves. Look for a workplace that recognises the importance of diversity in all positions including leadership positions, when making decisions, whether day-to-day or long-term strategic decisions, a diversity of inputs ensures most bases are covered and all options are explored.
I have worked with so many talented people, men and women, and a person’s knowledge, expertise and ability should be the most important factors. In a successful company, it is important to develop an environment where gender is irrelevant, yet at the same time, the diversity between men & women is respected.
Women are particularly good at decisions making, we are solutions-based, we explore the possibilities, rather than focusing on problems. We have a lot to say (yes, some of us like to talk! – including myself) but if we are listened to, we prove that what we say is worth listening to.
Recently, in a radio interview while driving to work, I listened to an interview with a businesswomen, I cannot remember who it was, but she said something that stuck with me ‘ It is not about making the right decision, it’s about making a decision, as often there is not such a thing as a right or wrong’. This is so true. When I joined the SLT team I realised how many decisions on daily basis need to be made, with no right or wrong answer to it… and to be honest I found that women are more likely to make those decisions faster, we stay focus, simply assess the pros and cons and come up with solutions, we are risk takers. And when there is no clear evidence of what should be done, we follow what we call WOMEN’s INTUITION (Yes! Women’s intuition exists! and as an accountant I would qualify it as an intangible asset! – 100% an asset )
Women are good at networking. Those small chitchats in the canteen do help to build a strong working relationship. Women tend to ask their colleagues questions that a man would never ask. For sure, I know the names of most of my colleagues’ kids, their spouses, what they do. One might say its nosey, but I don’t agree, I think there is more to a person than a number and how would I know how best to approach a difficult situation with a colleague if I didn’t know who they are.
Sometimes in society (although this is really changing for better recently) women are seen as the weaker ones (physically and emotionally). Well let me tell you… I have not met a man yet that could handle a difficult pregnancy and the pain of labour. There is a reason why nature assigned this task to women! The women that I have worked with to date have shown that we can be just as formidable and can handle just as much as men can.
More and more companies are working towards diversity in the workplace. Once again, I would stress the importance of finding the right workplace. If you are women and you work in an environment where you feel underappreciated… Run as fast as you can and find a company that values, you and your expertise.
I found it here in Ward.
Facts about Ward Solutions Ltd
At Ward Solutions 67% of our sales team and 40% of our Senior Leadership team are women contributing to a 29% female share of our overall workforce. This is good representation considering IT is traditionally a male dominated industry. Ward is very invested in promoting a diverse workforce and encourages women to join the team.
Many young women worry about starting a family and how that will impact their career. While working for Ward Solutions, when I was pregnant, I got promoted to the position of finance manager. Straight after coming back from maternity leave, I was offered the position of Financial Controller and took over full responsibility for the finance function of the whole company despite the fact (as any parent would know ) small kids gets sick often and need a lot of your attention, but, as they say, women can multitask!
To finish I wanted to add some motivational quotes, the below highlights what I think is an essence of good work ethic:
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”- Estee Lauder,
It is all about hard work. Sometimes as women, we need to work harder but in the right company with the right people, hard work will be noticed!
“Failure is not attached to outcome, but to not trying. This way, it is about answering to yourself.” – Sara Blakely
The only person, who makes no mistakes, is the person who does nothing. I met those people, they didn’t get too far! so keep on trying, it will be worth it…!!!
‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible’- Audrey Hepburn
Let us leave it at that, Audrey you said it all…
If you’re interested in working at Ward Solutions, feel free to check out our careers page for open opportunities https://www.ward.ie/careers/ and keep up to date with our openings via LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/ward-solutions/