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A Platform for Change – Women in Credit
In an industry dedicated to celebrating other achievements, championing can be difficult. For Jenny Oldfield, she believes it's vital for building confidence and inspiring those in the industry to push their career forward. Especially for women.
At the 2022 British Credit Awards, the CICM introduced a new award, The Jenny Oldfield Supporting Women in Credit Award, sponsored by Jenny, a long-standing Fellow of the CICM, for women working in credit management.
Jenny believes the BCAs created a platform for young credit managers to champion their careers by meeting colleagues and co-workers and being seen by the industry “I think awards dinners and events, they encourage people to be seen, meet the right people and connect and that’s really important for people looking to progress their careers.
”This award is presented to a woman currently working in credit management, who display a passion and drive for personal development in the credit industry regardless of their age, length of service or experience.
“The credit-control industry is often may up of small teams or often individuals that can, especially in smaller businesses be sat on their own within an office of many different job roles. So having access to the institute and being able to be seen to be succeeding is important for their development.
“More importantly, thanks to the recent changes to the level of access members have to education programmes, like sound bite courses, people can progress their own careers and champion themselves, especially young women coming into the profession.
”Jenny was inspired to sponsor the award after her diagnosis with stage 4 incurable pancreatic cancer and being given two years left to live which she decided to use to encourage more women in the industry to recognise their own achievements, and hopefully inspire future credit controllers.
“The award was created to celebrate women in the industry that push boundaries and innovate. Often women in business don’t push or self-publicise themselves and recognise their success. We wanted to encourage women to see their achievements because we don’t do that enough.”
Having had much success in her own career including a 10-year stint at PWC and opening and running her own business for 20 years, Jenny recognises the unique skills some women in credit posses
“Over the 20 years running my business, I’ve recruited and developed numerous credit professionals and I think female credit controllers and credit managers have something really unique and special and it should be celebrated.
This award is almost a manifestation of what support and achievement I would have liked to have seen available to me as I was coming up through the industry”
The award will form part of the BCAs for the next two years thanks to Jenny’s sponsorship; however, she hopes it will continue into the future and form its own legacy.
“I would like to see someone take the award forward for the aspirational benefits and encouraging women to shout about their achievements. I’d be delighted to see entries continue to grow and see an undercurrent of women being recognised for their success as there’s merit in this level of positivity. Equally, it means I would live on, and I like to that memory to be focussed on encouraging those in the industry to achieve what they deserve.”
After her diagnosis, Jenny decided to wind up her business to live her life the way has chosen and celebrate causes that are close to her heart, her award and her support for Pancreatic Cancer UK
Jenny has raised an incredible £17,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in just seven weeks, with donations still coming in, saying: “The support I have received from my family and friends and from The British Credit Awards and Pancreatic Cancer UK has been amazing. I’ve had both women and men come to me saying the work we’ve done has encouraged them to get their own health checked and that in itself is an amazing achievement.
”Jenny is continuing to fundraise for Pancreatic Cancer UK and is encouraging people to get involved with her 77 ways campaign.
To donate or read more about Jenny’s journey, visit Pancreaticcancer.org.uk and search ‘Jenny’.