Until quite recently, Asset Finance has been a largely male dominated industry with women rarely seen in senior roles. At UTB we are proud to have a diverse and inclusive team and love having the opportunity to shine a light on successful women working with our broker partners who are not only building outstanding careers, but inspiring their peers and creating opportunities for more young women to do the same.
Debra Grimshaw of Asset Finance Solutions (AFS) is one such woman and UTB are delighted to recognise her success and the example she sets. UTB’s ‘BDM of the Year’ Kerry Stuart travelled to Blackburn recently to present Debra with the Inspiring Woman in the Asset Finance Industry award as part of UTB’s Partner Recognition Awards.
Debra has worked with Asset Finance Solutions (AFS) since 2012, joining the business when she was just 20 years old. Since then, she has learned the AF business from the ground up, undertaking every role from office administrator to co-ordinator, and now, as Sales Director, she looks after a broker network of 220 appointed representatives.
At AFS she has been instrumental in encouraging the business to hire more women and create an environment and culture where women can flourish. But that’s not all. Debra has also encouraged many of AFS’ appointed representatives to employ women and to provide them with the opportunities she had. She is helping to change the industry for the better.
On top of her inspiring work life, Debra is also keen to support the wider community and last year completed the Tough Mudder challenge to raise over £3,300 for the Wish Centre in Blackburn, a charity which supports people who have experienced or are at risk of domestic abuse. She also supports the ‘Computers for Kids’ appeal and is an active fundraiser for Macmillan.
On presenting Debra with the award, Kerry Stuart of United Trust Bank said:
“I have had the pleasure of working with Debs from when I first started managing the AFS relationship many years ago, and she has been a great success story with her swift rise through the ranks at AFS. She is a fantastic role model, demonstrating sheer passion, drive and determination to all females in our industry. It was an honour to present Debs with UTB’s Inspiring Woman in the Asset Finance Industry Award.”
Lee Simms, Managing Director of AFS said:
“Debra has been the real standout success story of our business. Through her sheer drive, determination and most of all, her passion, Debra has progressed from Office Administrator to Sales Director in a relatively short period of time. With her progressive attitude, Debra is paving the way for the industry’s new breed of top female asset finance professionals. In what is still a very male dominated sector in finance, the Asset Finance Industry needs more ‘Debra’s’ of this world to ensure its future and for that fact alone, she deserves the recognition of the woman in finance award.”