Empowering and Encouraging Women in Finance: an interview with Lisa Stanley of http://good-with-money.com/
Together with her partner, Rebecca, Lisa Stanley is the co-founder of www.good-with-money.com, the website that provides information and highlights deals that benefit your pocket, people and the planet.
How did you get into this? Did you train straight out of school/Uni or was it a more roundabout journey.
Becky had the initial idea last summer, and when I was leaving my previous job as head of comms at Triodos Bank, we discussed how we might make her idea a reality. We started work on the site in July and launched officially in September. As a teenager I always wanted to be a journalist and worked on a local newspaper after graduating in English, writing for the university paper, etc. Sadly I found the entry level work a little monotonous and it didn’t quite pay enough back then (or now!) to make me want to stick at it, either. So instead I went into the marginally more lucrative PR sector, and found it a much better outlet for the creative juices. Doing PR for financial services meant there was always a bit of an intellectual challenge as well – how to create engaging stories around subject matter people generally turn away from.
Can you explain what a typical day for you might be?
Woken up at 5.30am by 2 year old son, get up, 5 year old son gets up an hour later, together with husband get kids fed, dressed and out the door for school / nursery. The working day now is incredibly varied, but generally doesn’t start until 930 and pauses around 3 for school pick-ups, dinner and kids’ bedtime. Often back to work in the evening for an hour or so. The role itself consists of covering news stories, writing opinion-led blogs, product news, and longer pieces, as well planning out content for coming weeks and months. Becky takes on the lion’s share of the writing and I spend more time on the promotional side, posting on social media, writing the weekly newsletter, promoting the site in the media, working with other journalists and sites. We both also spend time trying to build relationships with current and potential partners, researching products and organisations we might want to feature on the site. It’s a 5 day a week job conducted outside of the usual 9-5.
What’s your experience from a women’s point of view. Would you say it is a good job for a woman?
It is – as a mother, yes, because being self-employed we can generally choose working hours that suit us. However, I don’t see that journalism or PR is particularly more suited to women or men than any other roles, from accountancy to fund management, teaching, medicine, etc. Having said that, I didn’t enjoy my local newspaper doorstepping experiences, didn’t really feel I had the stomach or front for it.
What would your advice be to someone thinking of entering this profession?
Read read read – newspapers, websites, twitter, books, etc. Write write write. And if you’re doing PR, make sure you know cover to cover the title you are pitching to. Also remember there’s no particular route in, network as much as possible and make use of those contacts. Finally, don’t be afraid to promote yourself.
What’s your best financial advice for any woman?
Firstly, shamefully, a rather girly comment: it’s as important to be in control of your finances as you are of your wardrobe. (Sssshhh… my wardrobe is not very tidy!) Secondly, don’t be put off by the pink of the FT – it’s a fantastically objective all-round read.