Tamara Gillan CEO Wealthiher Network
Tamara Gillan is the CEO of the Wealthiher network, an entrepreneur, change-agent and champion for female empowerment and equality. As a single mother Tamara has had to fight for her own success and passionately believes women’s needs deserve to be recognized. On the podcast she shares her wisdom and her thoughts about the need for financial institutions pay attention to the differing needs and investment concerns of women especially when it comes to sustainability and ethical investment.
“One in three business globally is owned by women, but 72 percent don’t believe they are understood or represented by the finance industry so we thought there was an opportunity” she says. Tamara and her senior team in the network are leading the movement for greater financial literacy and education about wealth management and wealth development for women from their London base. The network however is worldwide and they are making the financial institutions sit up and take notice of the differing needs of women. They are challenging banks to be more attuned to the needs of women and underlining the need for financial institutions to be more welcoming.
“If over 70 percent believe that you are not talking to me and there is this jargon that I don’t understand then it feels like it’s a club I am not in and makes me feel even more removed from it. “
Leveraging Women’s Power
By leveraging the power of collaborative action and bringing together 15 leading financial organisations, the WealthiHer network is on a mission to drive the economic advancement of women globally. The network wants to arm and equip women with the knowledge, tools and confidence they need to prosper and build a more equal world.
“The Network is an essential force for change, championing the transformation of the industry’s approach to women. Helping women be more understood, accepted and catered for and in doing so supporting women to protect and grow their wealth.”
Tamara believes that there is a lack of understanding in business and especially in banking and finance about women and their wealth management.
Sometimes it is because traditionally the financial institutions women have have to deal with, do not recognise the different needs and priorities of women and their wealth management. The physical bank surroundings are often not inviting or comfortable places for women although thankfully this is changing, Tamara believes. Often the reason women feel that banks and financial institutions don’t reflect who they are, is because of the jargon and language used by those working in financial services. It can also be because traditionally women’s wealth and income was managed by male relatives and those patterns can be ingrained or internalised or become the default in relationships.
Go Ask Mary
Tamara recalls once being in a group with partners and clients and an amazing female entrepreneur raised her hand to say, ‘I never ask my relationship advisor why we do X or Y because I don’t want to look stupid. So I ring Mary.’ Everyone asked who is Mary. “She is the assistant and I say Mary tell me what that means, because with Mary I feel I can ask anything and she is a super smart lady. I want to Mary on the front line. ” Tamara says “some of those insights are so fascinating and you start to understand the why.”
Make Time To Make A Plan
Wealthiher suggest making time to manage your finances and to focus on growing wealth. Tamara also says it is always a good idea to have difficult conversations with loved ones about financial planning. This could be a partner, a spouse or elderly parents. She recommends grasping the nettle while things are calm rather than during stressful emotional times or in a crisis.
‘Have difficult conversations with loved ones’
“Have those conversations when things are good, so if you need an expert there are amazing people out there who can give you advice. Talk about things when things are calm and make a plan. It will set you free and means there is protection for those that you love.”
Digital First Future
The Finance industry needs to suit women’s needs
We are learning to live in a digital financial world. ‘It has to be digital first we have to find other ways to explain the reality of money’. According to Wealthiher research the digital consumer -women more than men -have said they are prepared to be engaged digitally. They think ‘I am too busy, too stretched, I want it on my time, come to me, don’t make me come to you.’ Tamara says there are learnings there for the financial services industry because they are not necessarily as advanced in digital client engagement, particularly where it has traditionally been more one-to-one, Tamara believes there are things that women need from an adaptation point of view and that financial institutions need to pay attention to the particular needs of their female clients
Tamara Gillan’s Pearls of Wisdom
- Believe in yourself prepare to believe in yourself. We see it come out in CEOs and TV presenters that talk of imposter syndrome so prepare for it. If you are going in to ask for a pay increase ask people you respect to tell you why you are good. So when you say why you don’t say I Think you say well so and so says….
- Hold your line. We are negotiating in every area of our lives. My team all do negotiating training. She says what women often do is is negotiate against ourselves. Some think “Maybe I should ask for this but how about I ask for a lower number”. Let the otherside negotiate with you if you are selling a house or pitching for business or going for a pay increase. Back yourself and hold your line.
- Ask any question, relating to money. No question is too silly. Most people don’t know the answer. I have sat with some of the most senior women in finance and men, some of which have said I don’t know what that means, I leave that all of that to my advisor or my partner. I have sat in rooms with entrepreneurs who have said I have twice woken up with several millions in my bank account after selling my business. I don’t have a financial confidence issue but when you drill down they say actually I don’t want to look like I don’t know, because I should know. I have been very commercially successful but I don’t know why we do bonds or invest in currencies. No question is too silly, most people don’t know and it is good to ask questions.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are talking about protection, going into a marriage buying a house, or marriage end of life or succession planning. There are people who do this every day with heart and empathy. Getting a their advice or getting a brief phone call is a good idea.
- Be Resilient. My father always says ‘the harder I work the luckier I got’. You can do anything, but you do need to be resilient. Now is a time of huge change, you do need to be resilient when the going is tough. Now is a time of opportunity if you believe in yourself you can do anything. I believe that for women and have seen women do mighty things, young old later in their careers. Believe in yourself and go for it.
Go for the big boys . I have a dear friend Sian Sutherland founder of Plastic Planet who is relentless. I can’t buy a plastic bottle when I am with her in an airport even if I am really thirsty. She says ‘go for the big boys, think where is the biggest impact you can have with your influence, in what you do with female leaders and let’s start there. Whose responsibility is this, government, business? Go for the big ones in a positive way.
Best Financial Advice Tamara Gillan Ever Got
Plan to plan from where you are. Look at where you spend your money. Look at how you spend every month. I was terrified I didn’t even look. Take a look at subscriptions. I had some I did not engage with.
“Jump in, leap in, own it, look at it and then make a plan and it will set you free it certainly did me. It’s so embarrassing to say that, but it is the truth. When it came to everyday spending and not because I had run out of money. I just found it so abhorrent that I did not want to look at it.”
‘Go To’ Music
“Music moves your soul and your heart and stirs you when you need it most. One of my saving graces in lockdown is my son who said I am going to make breakfast with rough music. His choice was The Final Countdown. What great music to get your uniform on to.”
My favourite song is ‘Rise up’ by Andra Day. Whenever I am low I listen and the lyrics are amazing. Rise up, rise up, I promise we will bring the world to our feet. It’s just a piece of music that I play when I think ‘Come On, Come On’ we are going to get through this.
23rd 24th March ‘She’s Got this’ Global Leadership and Entrepreneurial Summit
Pioneering the rise of female leadership and entrepreneurship
Tamara Gillan CEO of Wealthiher check them out on their website. You’ll find details there of their upcoming conference which you can attend online. ’She’s Got This’ Global Leadership & Entrepreneurial Summit on March 23rd and 24th 2021.
Tamara is a key-note speaker, researcher, award-winner, advocate and natural born collaborator who brings together businesses, the media, and influencers to create lasting change. Tamara has featured in Financial Times, Telegraph, Bloomberg, Forbes, The Times, CNN Business, Daily Mail, Sky, BBC, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Stylist.