At Wellington Place, we’re passionate about inspiring and encouraging young people into the world of work, including supporting young women in our local community and introducing them to different career paths.
This is why we’ve once again teamed up with Ahead Partnership to host our annual Women of the Future event for International Women’s Day 2023. The event brings together young women from Leeds secondary schools and inspirational women from businesses based at Wellington Place, to learn essential life and career skills.
We caught up with some of the volunteers at this year’s event, to find out more about their careers and why the Women of the Future event is important to them.
Cecylin Golding, Senior Delivery Lead at Equifax
Cecylin’s passion for IT began during her apprenticeship scheme at BT. Following this, she has worked her way through the ranks and is currently the Senior Delivery Lead in the IT department of global data, analytics and technology company Equifax.
Working at Equifax means no two days are the same for Cecylin, with her role ranging from supporting an Apple iPhone release to installing an IT system. Her biggest achievement to date was being involved in the rollout of BT/O2 broadband in the UK to all communities.
Starting out in her career at a young age and as a woman didn’t come without its challenges. “I was only 22 when I completed my apprenticeship, and I was managing people older than me and that had more experience,” recalls Cecylin. “I was also a woman in a predominantly male environment. I had to adjust my mentality and tell myself that I was employed for what’s in my head and not my age or gender. I worked hard to improve my ability and knowledge every day, and people would then see me for my talent.
“It’s exciting to be able to tell young women that they don’t need to be frightened to start a career in a historically male-dominated sector. If they have the right skills and ambition, they can succeed.”
Catherine Procter, Associate Portfolio Manager at Brewin Dolphin
Leaving university in 2018 after studying Politics and Philosophy, Catherine was introduced to a career in wealth management by chance while working in a bar. She joined Brewin Dolphin, completed a series of qualifications, and is now an Associate Portfolio Manager.
Over the past three years, Catherine’s progressed from assisting the management of client portfolios to managing them herself. “My favourite thing about my job is the relationship I build with our clients and associates. Managing someone’s financial affairs is a very personal matter and we face difficult topics, such as the loss of a loved one. However, getting to know and connect with people on this level is a very humbling and rewarding process.”
The financial industry is historically seen as a male-dominated environment, which has come with its challenges for Catherine: “Whilst I have a great support system in the office, I have faced some prejudices in the wider industry. To overcome these situations, I make sure I always contribute my opinion when I feel it adds value and try to be the voice for change where it’s needed.”
As part of the Women at Brewin scheme, a network of women and allies across the business, inspiring young people is very important to Catherine. “The gender pay gap still exists across society, and whilst corporate roles are getting better, it’s still usually white men filling them, which does not represent the diverse nature of the UK. We need to encourage and support women at all stages of their career to ensure that women enter into, and remain in, the jobs they wish to do.”
Dora Zsiros, Events Co-ordinator at The Terrace
Having studied Travel and Tourism at university, Dora worked as a hotel receptionist, and then in an airport premier lounge for six years. Now an events coordinator at The Terrace at Wellington Place, she’s always been face-to-face, front-of-house and focused on customer service.
Dora oversees events at The Terrace, from the early planning stages to hosting and is passionate about making sure every requirement is met and fulfilled. Her career highlight has been helping a passenger at the airport lounge set up a surprise proposal. “It was a very special moment to be part of someone’s big day. She of course said yes, so the whole lounge cheered and we all had a little cry!”
Dora’s career hasn’t been without difficulties. She moved to the UK at the age of 13 from Hungary and didn’t speak a word of English. Although her biggest challenge, Dora also sees it as her greatest achievement. “English not being my first language meant I had to overcome communication barriers, which is something I still find difficult. This has definitely improved over time and has actually taught me to be more empathetic and understanding towards others, which has helped me in my job roles.”
It was Dora’s first-time volunteering at our Women of the Future event. “I really wanted to take part, because having a role model or just someone to chat to at a young age can be such a valuable experience.”
Marielle Steinebach, Executive Commercial Assistant at the Department for Transport
Marielle is currently an Executive Commercial Assistant within the Department for Transport, primarily supporting train services. Her career to date is varied – she’s worked for the civil service and DEFRA, and even has a degree in marine biology!
Her role involves managing the Deputy Director’s diary and supporting projects across the department. Her achievements include learning code and creating induction packs for other PAs in the business.
Reflecting on her biggest achievement to date, Marielle said, “There were a couple of cases I handled in my past role at DEFRA that I’m really proud of. One included handling payments for farmers that had been delayed for years. To help find a solution for people that were really struggling was very rewarding.”
Although at the start of her career, Marielle was keen to share her story so far with young people. “I volunteered because I wanted to tell young women that you don’t necessarily have to have a conventional journey into the civil service. Events like these are super important for inspiring people to think about their futures with confidence.”
You can watch last year’s Women of the Future event below: