#IWD2019: Life as a consultant at Bovill

8 March 2019

In light of International Women's Day, we interviewed Lisa Cottrell to find out what life as a consultant at Bovill is like. Did you know 50% of our workforce is made up of women? We're proud to champion women in consulting and financial services, and wish everyone a very happy #IWD2019!

Lisa is a Consultant within Bovill’s Financial Crime Advisory team. She supports a full range of clients with their financial crime compliance programmes; from estate agents, UK branches of overseas banks and global tier 1 institutions. She advises on a range of AML and sanctions controls.

What’s a typical week like as a consultant at Bovill?

The great thing about consulting is that no two weeks are the same. We work with a wide range of clients, and our time is split between the client’s and our own offices. It’s a great opportunity to experience other corporate environments and immerse yourself into different working cultures.

At Bovill, we put a lot of effort into marketing and building client relations. So, as a consultant, I’ve been involved in various speaking opportunities – both at home and away. Just last week, I presented at two events at our headquarters in London.

We also get the opportunity to work abroad. Next month, I’m travelling to Hong Kong where I’ll be helping clients with their financial crime compliance review.

You recently got promoted, congratulations! What advice would you give to others looking to take the next step up?

For me, it was about assuming the traits of a successful consultant before asking others to view me as one. This included taking leading roles in client projects, building my own network, managing relationships and supporting newer members of staff; all vital skills you need to be a successful consultant.

When it came to promotions, I was able to demonstrate various ways that I was already behaving at the level above me, which I think made it easier for others to envisage me making the jump.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by women who have managed to achieve great successes in their careers, whilst maintaining a sense of fun and willingness to help others achieve. I’ve met many such women – both colleagues and clients – over the past few years. I feel very lucky in that respect.

What are your top tips to keep motivated?

  • Career progression. Having a clear vision of my career helps me stay focused on the goals needed to get me there.
  • A sense of achievement. When I’ve completed a piece of good work – big or small – it spurs me on to the next challenge.
  • Staying as good as those above your rank. It’s so important to learn from others and to strive to be your personal best.

What advice can you give others seeking a career in consulting?

Be prepared to work hard and push yourself. Being a consultant requires a high level of resilience. You’re sometimes solving your clients’ biggest problems, which is incredibly rewarding, but can also test your resilience and willingness to succeed.

Experience and variety are the rewards! It’s also an incredibly fun and social job; meeting new people and clients on a regular basis.

How can we help champion women in the workplace?

By getting women on the side of other women. We should be supporting each other’s progression, rather than seeing other women as added competition. Sheryl Sandberg once said that one day we won’t say “female leaders” we’ll just say “leaders”. I think there’s a lot of truth in that.

Bovill has a 50:50% ratio of female and male employees. Those figures are unheard of in management consultancy, especially within financial services. How can other firms achieve those figures?

Offer your employees flexible solutions that make career progression accessible for everyone.

It’s also important to celebrate women in the workplace and demonstrate it, through initiatives such as this, to attract a more diverse workforce.

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