A Woman in a Man’s World
An Interview with Charlotte Poole-Graham Financial Adviser
When did you know that you wanted to be a financial adviser?
I started off in Marketing in the industry and soon came to understand the significant difference good financial advice can make to people’s lives. Many people find it hard to find someone they can trust due to the history of the industry as a whole and therefore were not seeking financial advice that could significantly improve their lives. I wanted to combat that and become an adviser clients come to know and trust and hopefully attract people I can help that wouldn’t have necessarily taken advice otherwise.
Why do you think most financial advisers are men?
Because that is what society expects! As a young girl at school becoming a financial adviser would have never been a career path suggested to you. It can also be perceived as quite a “salesy” role which I think may put women off. When, in fact the main thing you are doing as a financial adviser, above everything else, is understanding someone’s needs, attitudes and experience which women generally have a natural aptitude for.
What pressures do you face being a woman in this environment?
The usual pressures of running a busy demanding business around life and being mistaken for a PA!
What is the best lesson you have learned from being a woman in a man’s world?
Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses. It is up to you to promote your strengths and improve your weaknesses. In my industry what is my strength may be another’s weakness and that is why we attract different types of clients.
What is the biggest mistake that you have made in being a woman in a man’s world?
Worrying about being a woman in a man’s world; rather than focusing on the advantage it gives me. I once walked into a meeting of at least 35 men and I was the only woman in the room.
Not only that but I was wearing a white jacket while they were all wearing grey suits. Initially I was embarrassed but I came to realise that actually, it was to my advantage; I stood out while everyone else blended in.
Give us your top tips for women who are in the same situation as you.
1. Play to your strengths
2. Focus on the advantage it gives you
3. Don’t try and do everything for everyone
4. Know when to outsource
5. Go big!
What dreams do you have for the future?
It sounds self-indulgent, but ultimately I want to leave my mark on the world and make a difference using my expertise. By giving clients good ongoing advice I know that I can make a difference to them and generations of their families to come.
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