When we think about women working in fields like finance, we think of strong, hard women that are ambitious and perhaps even a little ruthless. That’s what it takes to survive in a male-dominated industry, right? Sonia Gibson is turning this cliche on its head. She’s a numbers woman, figures and problems constitute the language she understands.
She is also warm, compassionate, and nurturing which is why she’s made such a mark on this industry, she’s found a way to bring heart and precision together, making this area of business effective and also welcoming.
Sonia is passionate about creating work environments that don’t overshadow the caregiver roles women are also required to fulfil in their family dynamics, by creating Accounting Heart, her award-winning firm, she has proven that it’s not only possible but it needs to be the future we can all look forward to. She’s committed to being the change she wishes to see in the world and today, she shares her journey so that others can learn from her and also be the change they wish to see. Here are her top tips.
Women: Role model your values
Sonia set up her business, Accounting Heart, after realising that the position she really wants in the finance field, simply doesn’t exist. She values flexibility, the ability to work remotely and to work according to deadlines rather than trying to complete a certain number of work hours per day. Her business allows her team of ladies to work flexibly around the other obligations in their lives, enabling them to nurture their families and their careers, simultaneously. As a pioneer in this sense in the industry, Sonia has had to implement processes and paperless tools to facilitate their success, and the business is thriving. Sonia has authentically demonstrated her values by creating a space that embodies what she believes in.
Listen: How to create a powerful mission and vision for your business
Put on your own oxygen mask
Getting to a point where you can live authentically and in accordance with your values means setting up a business model that suits your life. Your business model will act as your oxygen mask when it is built to support the life you want. You have to decide whether you prefer to commute to an office and work in person, or remotely from any desk in the world. You need to decide what kind of team management practices you’d like to implement and build all of our company policies and processes around this. It starts with a vision and the relevant structures to support that vision.
Insert collaboration and heart into your business
You can be precise and you can still be friendly, welcoming, and nurturing. It has become so common for professionals to use their own lingo, for lawyers to speak lawyer, accountants to speak accounting, and for their clients to struggle to understand what they’re saying. By educating clients and bringing clients into the processes, you can achieve greater productivity because the client knows their business and combining this with your professional knowledge gives you a power punch. It all starts with building relationships and bringing heart into your every transaction and correspondence.
Become part of a collective of women business owners
We all want the world to be a little easier for women and the fact is we can do more together. After Sonia had been thinking about how to help other women to take on Accounting Heart’s brand and philosophy so that we can create greater change for women, she realised there are not very many big-named accounting agencies run or owned by women and traditional accounting structures work their teams hard. It only highlights how desperately we need more female-owned businesses in this niche.
What’s good for women will be good for the world
It’s not just about women’s rights, it’s about giving society’s biggest supporters and nurtures the nurturing the reprieve they require in order to keep them strong. Remember, a rising tide lifts all the ships – by bringing this philosophy to more businesses, we can bring about more widespread change. By supporting other women, bringing in flexible workplaces and building structures that are value-based, we can pool our resources for greater change.
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