To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, we’ve spoken to some of the fabulous women that work at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust that are inspiring future generations.
Amy Whitaker is Director of Finance at Airedale. Keep reading to find out about Amy’s role, her career to date, and some great advice for people thinking about their careers.
What is your role and how did you get into the field?
My role is Director of Finance. I joined the NHS in 2002 on their graduate training scheme after getting a degree in Computing.
How would you describe your role?
I am accountable for managing the hospitals finances, giving advice on financial matters, and managing a team of finance and information staff who look after paying our staff and suppliers, supporting the clinical teams with their budgets, understanding the costs of our patients, and ensuring our clinical teams have the data that they need to aid them with making decisions.
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman?
I don’t feel as though I have faced many barriers. I have been very lucky to work with some fantastic people during my career who have supported me to achieve. What has been interesting to me, from early on in my career, is that there are less women in senior positions within finance. That can make it challenging to find role models and to observe how somebody like me might manage within those roles, for example I always thought that it would be impossible to be a mum and a director, and to do both well. But I have done it and I am determined to change that perception!
I still face scenarios where they are male dominated, and you can feel excluded due to a chosen topic of conversation, however rather than be quiet I just change the subject to something that is more inclusive. In my opinion, things are constantly improving, and I am really pleased to be a small part of that movement!
What is the most important message that you would send to young women thinking about their careers?
Choose something that you will enjoy and suits your skillset. Choose an employer that is truly inclusive and supports your development. Don’t forget that an interview is a two-way process – always make sure that the place you choose to work for is right for you and your circumstances, and that they can be flexible and adjust where needed.
Be proud to be a woman and you can be anything you put your mind to!