Celebrating the role of women in business

At Garbutt + Elliott we know that everyone has an important role to play in International Women’s Day, and we’re proud to be celebrating the successes and achievements of all women, everywhere and looking at what this means to us.

International Women’s Day is an ideal reminder that business must play an influential role in promoting equality and creating a more inclusive world, which is why we felt it was important to focus on the crucial role of women in business and the financial sector.

Below, we speak to our female Partners at Garbutt + Elliott to find out what International Women’s Day means to them and to hear about what has influenced them to get to where they are today in their careers.


What advice would you give to a female starting a career in Accountancy?

“There are so many reasons to get into accountancy. Professionally it is a career that offers ongoing challenge and progression, you can continue to drive your career forward and seek out new challenges. Thinks are always changing and people always have new problems so every day is new and interesting. Personally I love my “job” and I’m privileged to work with, and hopefully help, so many clients who over time you build really important relationships with. I think the sector also allows great flexibility as you progress through your work and personal life and can offer part time and home working so that it can fit around the other demands in life!”

By Laura Masheder- Partner



What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

2020 and 2021 have delivered challenges we probably never expected or thought we could overcome. On a personal level being the Garbutt + Elliott partner for our payroll team, the challenge of responding to the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was immense, as was the challenge of moving a whole payroll department to remote working. Both came at the same time as the need to provide additional support at home.

The underlying values that define what it is to be part of Garbutt + Elliott have helped not just me but many others face these recent challenges head on and have reaffirmed that when we all stand together we can rise to the challenge and come through the other side together as a stronger team.


As we finally head towards our new normal and with children returning to the classroom, IWD is a good time to reflect on how we have all coped with challenge and celebrate our many successes. We can look to refocus our #ChoosetoChallenge and perhaps dare to take on even greater challenges.

From challenge comes change and progress, so let’s all #ChoosetoChallenge”

By Sarah Ashton – Partner



What are the challenges for women to reach senior leadership positions in the Accounting and Financial sector and how can these be overcome?

The financial sector is a fantastic place for women to build a career but not without challenge. I have found 2 things to be key – firstly being proactive and saying yes to things opens up opportunities. It can feel scary at times (can I really do this?) but ultimately builds confidence and a strong sense of self-belief. Secondly finding a role model and mentor to help guide you and someone who can challenge and support you in equal measure to reach your potential.


By Becky Maguire – Partner





What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me International Women’s day acts as a reminder that there is still more to be done both in terms of gender parity but also in respect of improving equality, diversity and inclusion. During my career I have seen more females progress into senior roles but we are not yet equally represented. We all have a responsibility to continue driving change and improving diversity in the workplace and leadership.

The past 12 months have been unlike anything most of us have lived through before and the impact of COVID-19 has been far reaching, often highlighting and increasing longstanding inequalities. My hope on this International Women’s day is that as we come out of this crisis, the actions taken by government, businesses and individuals, allows those inequalities to be reduced and changes to be made. We shouldn’t just revert back to how life was before but learn from the experience.

IWD is also a day to reflect on what I and others have achieved over the past year and celebrate women’s achievements. For me personally, I have moved jobs, spent more time appreciating what is around me and achieved a better work life balance. The achievements of others are significant, with the standout moment for me in the past 12 months being the election of a female vice president in the US.


What advice would you give to a female starting a career in the financial and accounting sector?

Enjoy it and grab the opportunities that come to you with both hands. I went into accounting and audit for the different career paths it would open up to me. Whilst I have ended up progressing in practice, my peers have a wide range of careers, all stemming from that initial background in accounting. I have also had some amazing experiences by saying yes to different opportunities, be that promotions, different roles or moving offices, all of which have helped me get to where I am today.


By Claire Needham – Partner