Flexibility brings greater opportunity for women in finance

Radmila Delivron explains how perseverance, hard work, and the skills she learnt at LBS have propelled her to career heights.


“The world of finance is changing,” says Ramila Delivron MiFPT2020, newly appointed finance associate at Goldman Sachs. “Huge changes took place during Covid, and now organisations understand that in order to succeed and survive they need to be more flexible, more inclusive and more open to ideas.”

Ramila joined Goldman Sachs in August from Shawbrook Bank, where she was Corporate Development and Strategy Manager. Her new job is as an associate in the Asset Management Product Control team, where she plays a key role valuing businesses and companies.

“There is great emphasis now on innovation and process automation,” she says, “and more discussions on how to automate repetitive tasks to free up more time for creative thinking and analysis.”

She says that increased competition in the market has pushed financial institutions towards targeting different customer needs. As a result, they have created more innovative products and become more transparent on pricing. 

Her new role will be especially challenging in the current economic and political environment, given the tensions between the US and China, the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis in Europe, as well as the underlying recovery taking place across the world post-pandemic.

A more cautious world

The pressure on companies and businesses has made senior managers and finance teams “more aware and more prudent”, she says. It has made the job of strategic planning more complex and compelling.

“The financial crisis and increased regulations have made financial institutions more conservative and more aware that they need to be prepared for the next crisis,” she explains. 

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“A greater openness to new and fresh talent has revitalised the sector”

“Even if the outlook might appear positive, people are modelling a variety of contingency plans in order to anticipate what might happen in a worse-case scenario. People expect and plan for events to happen that could have negative connotations,” she says. “It’s no longer just about the upside.”

Another significant change in the world of finance has been a renewed focus on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), ESG and the importance of good employee mental health. Indeed, ESG metrics are now an integral part of company strategy and valuation, rather than just window-dressing. What’s more, a greater openness to new and fresh talent has revitalised the sector.

“Managers are more aware and more open to new ideas and ready to listen to different voices,” she explains. “They are prepared to consider a creative rather than a traditional solution and that can be very beneficial for the company and its progress.”

Determination and flexibility

Radmila Delivron started off her working life giving advice to business students on self-development and career planning in her rural hometown in Uzbekistan.

“Back home, the expectation is that a woman will be a teacher or someone with a job which enables them to care for the family, and that was the route I originally took,” she shares. Coming from a family of teachers, she worked at Westminster University in Uzbekistan teaching personal development to business students.

“I did my Bachelors and Masters degrees in teaching and I absolutely loved my profession,” she says. “While I enjoyed what I was doing, I was aware that I was telling my students to go beyond what they thought they were capable of, and to push their boundaries. I began to ask myself whether I was applying the same principles and goals to my own life.”

“Think about how you are going to develop your career and push your boundaries, so that you move out of your comfort zone”

Having previously studied linguistics and psychology at university, she felt finance was something of an alien profession. She decided that in order to extend her qualifications and understand the world in which her students would work, she would study accounting.

She started off with an ACCA foundation course in accounting, and having excelled in her exams, decided to pursue her studies further and achieved a bachelor's degree in accounting. After qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant with ACCA she moved to England and began working in a bank.

Progressing with a Masters in Finance at LBS

In 2018, she decided that in order to progress her career and extend her knowledge she would study at London Business School, a decision which changed the course of her career.

“London Business School was a phenomenal next step for me,” she muses. “I decided to do it as a part time course because I wanted to continue working to be in the industry while acquiring and applying the new knowledge and new skill set that I was developing.

“I was working in the accounting department, but while I was studying at LBS I moved to corporate development where I was busy with mergers and acquisitions, and corporate strategy for the bank.”

The two-year, part-time Masters in Finance course started in 2018 and she found that she loved the thought-provoking lectures, the experience of working on case studies with other smart and motivated students, and the support and experience of the teachers. Studying part-time meant she could continue to earn an income and didn’t have the stress of trying to find a job at the end of the course.

“I really enjoyed the lectures and having the time to think about what I was learning and how to apply it to my own job. The teaching was excellent and there was great camaraderie on the course because all the other students had also been working in finance and industry for some time and had experience and insights to offer.”

When Covid affected the world, Radmila went on maternity leave to spend time with her daughter, who is now one year old, and to think about her next career step.

She had been approached by Goldman Sachs just before Covid hit, and although she had a job offer from the company, she decided to turn it down because of the global economic uncertainty. With the world of finance opening up again in 2022, Goldman Sachs once again approached her and this time she felt it was the right opportunity.

With the new working practices across all industries and hybrid working in the finance sector becoming commonplace, she was able to negotiate a package which enabled her to work from home for the majority of the week, combining an exciting new role with motherhood.

Persistence and determination pay off

Having come so far so young (she is still only 34), Radmila urges women to be persistent and have faith in their own talents and abilities. “It is so easy to have distractions in life,” she says. “But I find that really visualising my goals and reminding myself what I am working towards is very motivating.

“Anything is possible if you are determined. There was no English teacher when I was at school, so I went to the library and used the dictionary there to read and translate English. Now here I am working at Goldman Sachs, and have studied at LBS. It is all about being persistent and overcoming obstacles.”

Her knowledge of personal development has also helped her be bold enough to speak up in meetings, offer new and innovative ideas, and believe that, even if she is the only woman around a boardroom table, her contribution is valuable and meaningful. She is helped by having learned coding at LBS, which means she can talk to IT departments about what may be possible and can communicate with C-suite personnel how ideas may be put into practice.

As for the future, her experiences at LBS have been so positive on a personal and professional level that she is planning to enrol on the LBS Executive MBA course in the near future.

“Think about how you are going to develop your career and push your boundaries, so that you move out of your comfort zone”

“I enjoy the structure of the course and depth and variety of the material,” she shares. “What’s special about LBS is how you are taught via case studies which really help you understand different scenarios.

“The course and teaching materials are to date and constantly evolving to reflect the changing world we are living and working in. I also really appreciate the support from lecturers, teachers and managers who support me in my ongoing career and my learning and development.”

Her advice to fellow women thinking of a career in finance? “Go for it – nothing should stop you.”

“If you enjoy it, you should definitely pursue it. Think about how you are going to develop your career and push your boundaries, so that you move out of your comfort zone,” she says.

“Being at LBS was enjoyable and stimulating; it gave me fresh ideas, introduced me to new people and offered the chance to discuss different topics and scenarios. It was an invaluable experience.

“What worked well for me was the ability to continue working and study on Friday evenings and at the weekends because it was a part-time course. Best of all, you are studying and working in the City of London, the very centre of all the financial industry and this provides huge opportunities.

“I chose LBS because I would be in the capital with opportunities for work and networking. Being in the centre of London you have such a variety of speakers coming in to give talks and lectures. I spoke to LBS alumni ahead of enrolling, who said it was the best investment they had made in their career and I would agree. It has been a fantastic experience and really propelled my career to greater heights.”



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