Head of Sales and Relationships, QLD and Northern NSW
Rebecca is an experienced Sales and Relationship Manager within the Financial Services industry. Joining Apricity in our Brisbane office in 2018, Rebecca has previously worked for ANZ and Bank of Queensland across Risk, Compliance, Sales, Financial Markets, and Commercial Banking.
Rebecca is a great relationship builder and brings a fresh outlook to the team. Happiest when making meaningful connections, whether professional or personal, Rebecca makes a point to enjoy and appreciate what she has.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR WORKING CAREER.
I was the child who always wanted a job, I begged for a part-time job as a teenager and as soon as the opportunity arose I jumped. I was so excited when my dad took me on in his store to sell kids computer games – and have never looked back!
I studied a Bachelor of Business at university, and juggled working in hospitality while studying. Working in the hospitality industry taught me the importance of service, kindness and respect, as well as the skills that come with managing expectations and thinking on your feet.
My first corporate job saw me working as an assistant client manager. From there, I had roles across mobile banking, commercial banking, financial markets and credit. Today, I am proud to be working as a Business Development Manager in Queensland for Apricity Finance.
WHAT BARRIERS HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I feel that there are barriers every day of your professional life if you are a woman, and often these can be unintentional and stem from unconscious bias. I am lucky to say that Apricity Finance is an accepting and happy environment, that I get to call work each day. In a previous role I was called a ‘diversity hire’ by a colleague, which really knocked my confidence around at the time. But striving to be better is how I overcome most battles.
I’ve learnt that you can’t control others, you only have control over your own responses and your work. Ensuring I surround myself with strong, like-minded women has been key, where it is not about getting ahead but about bolstering each other up.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE FINANCE INDUSTRY?
I never sought the finance industry out, rather fell into finance working in broking and private wealth. From there I have grown and moved through a range of different positions. I take a lot of pride in the way that providing good financial advice can have real world effects on people. Being able to provide both individuals and businesses with sound advice is not a task that should be taken on lightly, and helping people eliminate financial stress really is just the best feeling.
The GFC hit while I was in the late stages of high school, and the effects that it had on people that I knew really stuck with me. I saw the devastating and lasting effects of receiving poor advice, and that has stayed with me ever since. It’s something I consider every day, with every potential client I speak to.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT MORE WOMEN WORK IN THE FINANCE SECTOR?
Finance is still quite a male dominated industry, so I’d love to see more gender diversity. When you work with people that are different to you, that’s when the best work is done. A whirlpool of gender, race and identities inspires the most creative ideas, as everyone brings different ideas and opinions to the table. Variety is the spice of life!
In the workplace, what every man can do, so can every woman.
More positively, it’s great to see the ever increasing number of women who are going out of their way to become financially literate and independent. It’s empowering and should be the norm!
HAVE YOU HAD ANY MENTORS IN YOUR CAREER TO DATE, OR KEY PIECES OF ADVICE SHARED WITH YOU ALONG THE WAY?
I love the term mentor, I feel that I’ve had many mentors along the way that I have learnt little things from. I pride myself on being well-read, from self-help books to a range of biographies, every pearl of wisdom I’ve read has helped shape my career.
It’s important to me to use my time focusing on areas where I can improve and ensuring I stay ahead of trends and current events. Even though I no longer work in financial markets, I still listen to the NAB morning call every day to keep up to date.
Asking others for advice will never do you wrong, and seeking out guidance from people that have been in your shoes has also been beneficial for me. Compassion is something I’ve learnt over the years as well. Life is not black and white, it’s more grey and people don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes.
The most important thing I have learnt is to stand up for myself. When in doubt, remind yourself of all of the things that you are, instead of the things that you aren’t.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN AT THE START OF HER CAREER?
I am enough. I am educated, talented and capable.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR WOMEN TO LIFT EACH OTHER UP, AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
Having a strong support network is imperative for success and sanity in both personal and professional life. Women can struggle to change the ideals of men, but the pressure comes equally from other women who have a competitive mentality. A complete paradigm shift is needed on both sides of the fence.
I have no tolerance for women who don’t support women. We need to all work together to challenge stereotypes and to create environments where women can develop and thrive, both in a personal and professional sense.
ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE YOU WANT TO SEND OUT TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT THEIR CAREERS?
Finance is certainly a male-dominated industry, and as such, women need to be bolder, more fierce, and more resilient than their male counterparts to do the same job. Women start on the back foot and work twice as hard to prove themselves, but I think that this is all changing. There are some incredible female trailblazers in the finance sector who offer inspiration to women, no matter the stage of the career. Compare the finance industry to what it was 30 years ago – it’s completely different!
Having an annual day like International Women’s Day to celebrate the achievements of women helps bridge the gender gap in the industry, and begins the conversation. Striving for success in my career is a lot more rewarding knowing that I am making a difference for the next generation of women behind me.
Connect with Rebecca via LinkedIn here.