International Women’s Day, Interview with Rebecca Mattingley

womens day
How did you get started in Financial Services?

When I left University, I went into marketing and found that it wasn’t for me. I fell into financial services, through temping and started off typing up Adviser’s meeting notes. I ended up taking the FPC whilst Paraplanning and became an Adviser for a short time mainly introducing new members to various Group Pension Plans.

In 2008, the company I was working for closed my office, I moved businesses, stayed in financial services but drifted away from Financial Advice.

In 2017, after my second child was born, I was contacted by Graham Sparks, Vice President at Kingswood, who had found my CV online and I started Paraplanning again.  A lot had changed in that time such as the Retail Distribution Review and the introduction of Pension Freedoms. I completed my level 4 Diploma last year.

What made you want to become a Financial Adviser?

When I interviewed for the position as Paraplanner, I was asked if I would like to study for my Diploma and initially said no as I felt that it would be too much because I would be working full time with two young children. A few years into the job, one of the Partners at my firm sat me down and said he thought that I would make a great Adviser and suggested that I take my level 4 qualifications.

Working closely with different Financial Advisers in my role as a Paraplanner has helped a lot as I learnt so much from them and their encouragement gave me the confidence to take that next step in my career.

I am lucky that I have always been listened to, respected and encouraged at Kingswood. If you aren’t where you work, there will always be somewhere that will!

When did you start studying?

I started studying for the Diploma in 2019 and completed the majority of it throughout the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, I had to juggle working full time and the school run, but post March 2020, I found myself home schooling my two children, working full time and studying.

How did you manage that?

I had to ensure I had a strict routine of study every evening after I had put the children to bed. Flexible working during the pandemic helped a lot.

One of my biggest tips for women considering a career in this industry, is to ensure you schedule time for yourself. Whether you have kids or not, if you are working and studying, time for yourself is essential. I made sure every night after studying I would sit and watch some Netflix for an hour to clear my mind or get out for some exercise during the day.

I am very lucky that I have supportive people around me including my husband who makes things easier and that he has flexibility in his work so that we can share the load with childcare.

What are your tips to businesses who encourage women to take on the next stage in their career, similar to the encouragement you had?

If a business wants to encourage women to become Financial Advisers, or to take the next step in any industry and excel at their role, they need to be mindful that many women are also mothers or carers and may work in part time roles to accommodate this.

Remote working has increased our amount of ‘available time’ which is great but can also be a drawback in some cases as it is hard to switch off.

Also, I would suggest an adjustment in core meeting hours, structuring them around the school run, between 9.30-2.30, keeping the school run hours free. If meetings are regularly booked when part time members of the team have left for the day or popped out to do the school run, it can mean those who don’t attend can fall out of the loop and miss their opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas, potentially preventing their career progression. Inevitably a lot of the time, it will be women who receive the brunt of this, but this will help male colleagues too.

If you want women to progress and grow within the business, we need to make it accessible and for women to feel secure in speaking up and making such requests. Just because you aren’t available during certain hours of the day doesn’t mean you aren’t good at your job or doing the work.

Women are brilliant at multi-tasking, we juggle families (clubs, caring, home, events, everyone’s diaries), work, calls, emails, and all sorts of challenges on a daily basis.  We do so much of this as second nature and we can use these organisational skills in our careers. This wealth of skill and experience is often overlooked, and we should have confidence in our abilities.

What challenges have you faced?

Some people may pre-judge you especially as a female professional and expect you to be followed up by a man. My advice to women entering this industry is to retain confidence in your abilities and what you do. Know your topic inside and out and be well prepared.

I am lucky that I have always been listened to, respected and encouraged at Kingswood. If you aren’t where you work, there will always be somewhere that will!

Rebecca Mattingley, Kingswood Wealth Planner