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In 2012 I started my career on the graduate scheme of broker ICAP….

In 2012 I started my career on the graduate scheme of broker ICAP….

Mark.Freed / 30 Nov 2017

Next year is the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote in the UK. As part of celebrating the centenary, we are producing a history of women’s careers in financial services over the years. In the latest in the series we meet Suki Notay Senior Commodities Broker at GFI.

Suki Notay

In 2012 I started my career on the graduate scheme of broker ICAP, working in the commodities team as an oil broker. 
The oil industry is very male dominated and when I started I was one of a very small number of female brokers at ICAP, surrounded by white middle-aged men.  

It was a challenging environment to begin with: I had to work very hard to prove my worth and that I was there to stay, behaving professionally and fighting to be taken seriously – sometimes the men thought I was the office junior or receptionist.

I’ve felt quite comfortable working amongst a team of men thanks to my brothers and my peers at university which has certainly helped me - I know how to have a laugh and a joke with them and how to communicate with men.  On the whole, my confidence has shone through.  However, it can still be daunting being the only woman when entertaining clients, or walking across the trading floor and there have been some uncomfortable moments.  I feel equipped to deal with them, and believing in myself, has helped me overcome these behaviours.  The financial services’ industry is working hard to change attitudes towards inclusivity and diversity, and I know I am part of this movement.

Throughout my career to date, I have been proud of who I am, dressing in skirts and dresses rather than trousers just to blend in.  I have used my gender difference as my USP and thanks to there being very few female voices being heard via the squawk box, I have been able to make myself known.  I believe that part of my role in this industry is to demonstrate my and other women’s longevity and steadfastness. 

Thanks to my time and experiences at ICAP, I am now a senior broker at GFI which has a growing women’s network and is open to suggestions on how it can improve the gender balance.  I’m part of the graduate recruitment programme and hope to be able to attract more women to commodities. 

As a senior woman in the organisation I like being able to use my experiences to help other women and in the longer term, shape the industry as a whole.    

Financial services is a great industry to work in. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and the opportunities that it has provided and look forward to more in the future. I am most happy when I am helping my clients understand the market, the risks and the various solutions available to them to ensure they can grow and protect their business – whether they are a producer or consumer of oil.

Being successful in the industry has enabled me to forge a strong career path and perhaps even to be a pioneer in the oil industry.  

Read other stories in the series:

 Share your story

What was it like to start a career during the swinging 60's? Were you on a three-day week in the 70's? How did you fair in the yuppie loads-of-money 80's? How politically correct were the 90’s?  Did you experience the start of the digital revolution of the 00’s? Or perhaps you embarked on your career recently - has the industry lived up to, or surpassed, your expectations?

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