FD in Five Minutes: Lynne Gravatt of Target Ovarian Cancer

The director of finance at the women's cancer charity

Lynne Gravatt
Lynne Gravatt

Can you tell us a bit about your career so far? A post-university gap year turned into four years in Switzerland, followed by several years in the travel industry. But given the limited development opportunities, I studied for an accountancy qualification. After a few years in small businesses, seeing capitalism at first hand, I decided I preferred the fruits of my labours to benefit those more in need. I've now been in the sector for 13 years and at Target Ovarian Cancer for four.

How much of a bonus is that mix of experience? I think for any job in any sector, it's invaluable to have a mix of experience. In accounting terms the basic concepts are the same, whether you're a small business or a small charity.

It must have given you some good anecdotes. Absolutely! My favourite is shaking hands with and being wished happy new year by Pope John Paul II on the steps of a back-street church in Rome.

What can be done to improve the gender balance in the world of finance? It needs to start at school. As for the market, we need to encourage openness from those who are recruiting to stop them simply replicating what already exists, but that requires people to be allowed a little scope for error. Sadly, the modern business environment often doesn't allow that.

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