Jacqueline Vincent, Carparison's Finance Director
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is a Digital Copywriter in the Carparison marketing team, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 4 minutes.

With a diverse career spanning aerospace, defence, construction, and automotive, Jacqueline knows a thing or two about working in tough industries.

She cites her qualification as an Accountant in 2006 as the changing point in her career. Now, she manages a team of 13 in finance and IT, as well as looking after a number of different businesses and the hundreds of employees within the City West Country group, including Carparison.

We sat down with Jacqueline to find out more about what she does now, how she got there, and why more women should look at jobs in the motor industry.

What do you do?

I’m a Group Finance Director, so I look after the financial interests of several companies as well as looking after aspects like IT and any property or legal work that needs undertaking.

I got here through decades of hard work, determination, and drive to become a qualified accountant.

I let the quality of my work and the way I treat people stand out. On the back of this, I’ve been noticed and promoted several times, especially over the last 15 years.

I’m not your ‘average’ Finance Director. I’ve also been an operational leader of large teams, a Commercial Director, and I’ve worked on some of the biggest aerospace and construction projects in the UK – the kind you need calculators with extra digits for!

What challenges have you faced?

How long have you got?!

The main challenge was to be noticed. Back at the start of my career, any woman had to be far better than any man at his job to get noticed, because women generally weren’t considered for promotions or opportunities.

Things have moved on now, but it still varies.

It’s not all bad – I love working in male-dominated industries as I’ve benefitted from working on great projects with very clever people. I’ve mainly worked in aerospace and defence, construction, and now the automotive sector. I’ve learnt so much and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve also been lucky enough to work for some inspirational leaders in these sectors. We can learn a lot from the people around us, and I’ve watched and learned.

Another significant challenge, which was a surprise at the start, was when I started as a Director and had a ‘seat at the table’. It was still hard to be heard initially. But knowing your ‘onions’ and producing great work eventually led to my opinion being sought without me having to offer it.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love the variety of my role, and I can honestly say it’s a privilege to work with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

I love learning new things so being in a new sector is great for the brain – there’s lots to learn and soak up. I love the fast pace and exciting products, so it couldn’t be much better.

What advice would you give to someone going for a job in the motor industry?

Give it a try – there seems to be a role here for everyone, and oodles of opportunities for shining stars to be noticed.

The sky is the limit.

How can we encourage more women to pursue senior leadership roles?

I think things are different now, and it’s easier to think big. Why should the men have all the fun and the best jobs?

I would love to see more women work their way up through the ranks and reach the top in our sector.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve been given?

Be awesome at whatever job you do and give it your best.

Set high standards for yourself, be considerate of others, but make sure you have fun and always be your authentic self.

What change would you like to see in the industry?

I’ve only been in the sector a short time, but I think I’d like to be reading automotive news and hearing more women talking about the industry.

Some of the best reviews on vehicles I’ve seen have been done by women, so I’d love to see that out there in the wider sector and for it to become the new normal.

Any final thoughts?

This year I’ll be reflecting on how lucky I am not to be facing what’s going on in Ukraine right now, and praying for the safety of the Ukrainian women, children, and their families – and especially those brave men and women fighting.