International Women’s Day 2021

On this International Women’s Day some of our female team members would like to share their experiences of lockdown, the challenge’s of work colliding with life, and how they’re coping in this new set of circumstances! We are proud that our team feels empowered to challenge the status quo when it comes to juggling the challenges of family life and adapting how they work to support each other. We’d like to celebrate the incredible resilience and spirit they’ve shown over the last 12 months.

international womens day 2021

Sophie Colloby – Transaction Services Team, Leeds

“I think we should all be proud to have made it through the last 12 months with most of our sanity intact.

Whether that is coping with home schooling, managing loneliness or delivering quality work from the edge of a kitchen worktop with temperamental Wi-Fi!

It has been nice to have an insight into a little more of people’s home lives and interruptions from dogs, the postman or kids have become fully acceptable which I personally think benefits us all and makes us all a little more human with clients and targets.

I’m proud to have made tough decisions to manage cash and stuck to good long term strategic plans largely around recruitment, which have paid off more quickly than I expected which is perhaps luck rather than judgment, but still very nice.

I’m also enjoying my two new lockdown baby horses as an alternative to the lockdown puppy!”


Philippa Billings – Business Planning Team, Stockport

“This year has been so challenging for everyone, there have been ups and downs and resilience has been tested to the extreme.

In May I was supposed to be running the Manchester 10k with my husband’s work colleagues in his memory.  Sadly this was cancelled, so I ran 10k anyway on the day with my son Sam providing moral support on his bike, given my not ideal level of fitness!  Pleased to have done it and hopefully at some point in the future we’ll be able to run the real route in real life!

The routine of work has helped me to cope with a difficult time and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all my amazing colleagues in Business Planning for their care, support and of course gin!  Looking forward to meeting up properly when we can.”


Melanie Clark – Corporate Finance Team, Aberdeen

“My experience of the pandemic was becoming a first-time mum. I would never have expected to be having my first baby under lockdown, being in the hospital alone and being completely cut off from any support network of friends and family for the first year. But I am enormously proud of myself for how I coped and found the positives in the situation. It gave me a new perspective on life, as a normally very busy person, it was actually quite nice to be forced to slow down. Lockdown allowed me to just enjoy spending time at home with my baby girl, rather than putting pressure on myself to be places, first thing in the morning, with perfect hair and makeup, looking as if I’d had more than 3 hours sleep!

Now I’m back at work and Mollie is in nursery, finally enjoying the company of other babies. I’m back to being super busy and juggling work and family life, which involves lots of planning and a bit less sleep than I would like! But we all know mums have superpowers so hopefully, I’ll manage to do well at both.

It’s really important to me to be the best role model to Mollie and show her that being a mum isn’t a barrier to being successful in your career. I want her to grow up ready to smash through the glass ceiling herself!”


Rachel Green – Corporate Finance Team, Daresbury

“Joining the Corporate Finance team in January 2020 meant that I only had a couple of months in the office before the first national lockdown. Having never worked in CF before, I remember thinking “how on earth am I going to cope?!” but, a year on, I’m really proud of the way I’ve adapted. Highlights have been passing the CISI Corporate Finance Techniques & Theory exam, getting to know people (and embarrassing myself!) with the co-hosting of DSW weekly pub quizzes over the summer and seeing some fantastic deals complete!”