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The Short Cut:

A quick fire chat about working life with Samantha Secomb FPFS

Samantha Secomb, Founder Women's Wealth

The Short Cut designed to bring you a snapshot of our members’ working lives. Today we’re speaking to Samantha Secomb, Founder, Women’s Wealth.

At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences. From breakthrough career moments, to best ever advice, how to deal with stress and the women that inspire them.

Tell us about your breakthrough career moment

It was 1994, I think. I was working as an Independent Financial Adviser firm owned by a Chartered Accountant practice.  I remember sitting in a meeting with senior members of the accountancy team and the Managing Director and lead of the IFA firm who employed me.  I was the only woman in the room, and I was very much “at the table”, but I realised from the conversation 3 things:

1- They all believed that their (white, male, British and privileged) version of the world was the only one that mattered enough for them to want to interact with it and anyone that didn’t fit the mould was “other”. 

2- That if I wanted to continue to be heard at this table, I could not overtly challenge this “belief” system at this stage in my career.

3- They were wrong, and I would have to show them this rather than tell them anything they were not yet ready to hear.

I remember being grateful that the men I worked with accepted me and recognised that this was because I had assimilated to my male dominated environment. I recall even feeling quite proud of myself although these days I find it distasteful that the only way forward was to become more masculine rather than to be valued for the diversity I could bring. I believe things are changing in this respect – slowly.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

Touch it once – I was trained to be super organised by a fab mentor who showed be how to deal with volumes of stuff every day by reducing the number of times you had to revisit an item – decide and do – even if you decide to push it to tomorrow, next week, next year – don’t procrastinate.  Have a great filing, diary and task management system and move stuff on.

Have you ever felt held back as a women? How do you respond?

Many times, from being asked to pour the tea in a male dominated meeting, to being asked “how much do I want the promotion?” accompanied by a hand on my waist. Simply being mistaken as staff rather than a delegate at conferences and being paid less than my male peers all my employed life.

How have I responded? I have survived and I am telling my stories now that I can do so without fear of reprisals. But survival took chunks out of me there is no doubt about that. I also want to acknowledge that being a woman has some advantages. I was memorable amongst a sea of grey suits and bald heads. I was selected for projects where diversity of thought and perspective were of obvious value and some clients specifically asked for a female adviser and I was often the only choice when that happened.

How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?

Gratitude is my antidote to most states of being.

At pressured moments this manifests with reminders to myself that pressure is a privilege – I have chosen to be where I am.

The woman who empowers me is…

Cathi Harrison CEO – The Verve Group.

I feel empowered when…

… I have a choice.

The world would be a better place when…

… when we all believe we have enough.

The woman who everyone should know about it…

Do you have any hobbies to keep you busy in your spare time?

I am a grandma, mother, sister, aunt, great aunt, daughter, cousin, and friend – being part of an extended family and a network of friends , some lifelong, is vital.

I ride horses at the weekend, go salsa dancing on a Tuesday night – also go to the gym 3x a week but that is to resist atrophy rather than for fun.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

My bed…

 

Samantha was one of the speakers at the Nurture Network Live 2023 Inaugural event at The British Library. 

She was an amazing panelist on the Making Money Matter workshop at the event. Her passion about democratising unbiased financial advice for women both as investors and as financial planners is unwavering.  We look forward to hearing more from Sam and her business Women’s Wealth in 2024… 

For more information about about the Nurture Network contact us here.

Favourite place in the world is my bed. Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash