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An interview with E2W member Nolly Maseko, who has close links to the Young Women’s Trust

An interview with E2W member Nolly Maseko, who has close links to the Young Women’s Trust

Katie.Dix / 04 Feb 2020

We are absolutely delighted to be partnered with the Young Women’s Trust supporting their fantastic work and mission. We hold very similar values to the Young Women’s Trust and share a commitment to gender equality in the work place. The Young Women's Trust provide CV services, career coaching and grants to support young women, which we are excited to get involved and help with. 

The E2W community will be volunteering, fundraising, helping to raise awareness and of course donating to The Young Women's Trust

An interview with E2W member Nolly Maseko, who has close links to the Young Women's Trust 

Where do you work and how did you become an E2W member?

I have worked for a fund administrator in Essex near where I live for 4 ½ years, supporting asset management firms with their operations. It’s a good company, because I have moved between different teams which has given me opportunities to learn and connect with different parts of the business. As a company we signed up to the Women in Finance charter and launched our own women’s network, which I joined. As part of the network I was looking for external events and conversations happening about women’s issues and equality and I came across E2W. I am now a member and recently had a coffee with Mark Freed the founder. That’s when I realised that E2W supported Young Women’s Trust, a charity I am also involved in.

How did you get involved in Young Women’s Trust

I often talk to my friends about women’s rights and issues we care about and one of them told me about the Young Women’s Trust. I became a Champion for the charity, which means I make a regular donation to them and I keep up with the campaigning work they are doing for young women.  I was really interested in the work that the charity does to support the rights of young women and talked lots of my friends into joining too.

You have also used the Young Women’s Trust coaching service; can you tell us about it?

I went to university and after graduation I had lots of plans for myself and my career. Then I went through a tough time and ended up caring for my mum who was unwell, while raising my daughter. My career halted, before it had really even got going.

That’s when a friend reminded me about the free coaching that the Young Women’s Trust offers. I wasn’t sure if it would help, but I thought it was worth a go. The Young Women’s Trust matched me with a coach who gave me coaching over the phone. The personal support was so valuable, my coach helped give me a different perspective. I was nervous about balancing my career and responsibilities at home, but my coach reassured me that I am not the only one dealing with challenges like these. She listened and gave me lots of resources and helped me strategise how I could manage all my commitments, by getting flexible hours and receiving support to maintain my mental health.

Do you think a lot of young women face the same challenges you did?

I think young women face real challenges in the workplace. School and university provide us with theoretical knowledge, but not for the inevitable adversities and struggles that come with forging a successful career. When we hit difficult times, it is hard to find practical support and our confidence is knocked. At work I think it’s really hard for young people and young women in particular to ask for flexible hours. Without flexible hours it is really hard for a young woman, especially when facing the challenges that I was facing; to fulfil their caring responsibilities, upskill and maintain a good work/life balance. 

What are doing now?

Now I have fortunately managed to obtain permanent, adequate care for the family members that I was caring for. I have a new role in the same company and have a better balance between home and work, which I can manage. I will always really value the coaching I received, and I continue to find career coaches and mentors because it is such a help.

I felt ashamed to begin with that I had a tough time balancing work and my personal life, but now I recognise all the transferable skills I got from the things I did at home, and I am proud of that. For the first time since leaving university, I am able to make my career a priority. I love financial services and want to build on my experience.   That presents its own problems, as I have not followed a traditional career path.

I am an E2W member and am looking forward to building a network and taking advantage of the coaching services they offer to build on my confidence, in order to continue climbing the ladder. I will continue supporting the Young Women’s Trust and am currently considering a voluntary role reviewing young women’s C.V’s and providing them with feedback.


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