FD in Five Minutes: Nicola Richards

Third Sector speaks to the finance director of the British Safety Council

Nicola Richards
Nicola Richards

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

Returning to work from maternity leave, I wanted to join an organisation that makes a difference to society. Three months after joining the British Safety Council, I was promoted from head of finance to finance director. I joined the organisation at a time of flux in the finance department and helped bring stability and direction to the team. I am very proud of everything my team has achieved. I appreciate the faith and support I have received from my team and my colleagues at the BSC, particularly from our chief executive, Mike Robinson.

What’s your biggest challenge at work?

Change management. As a charity we need to be looking at how we use technology across finance and across the business. I would like to see finance continue to add more value to the company, rather than just crunching numbers.

What do you do outside work?

I work full time, which is why it’s very important to me to spend as much time as I can outside work on fun activities with my son and his dad. I appreciate working somewhere that is flexible and promotes a good work-life balance. I enjoy cooking. I like making things for people I love.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far?

I admired Margaret Thatcher as a young girl. She was a role model for me, showing that a woman could achieve anything professionally if she puts their mind to it. My father brought me up with a "nothing happens unless you make it happen" mentality. I inherited his drive, determination and passion. I believe I can achieve anything, as confidence is a key to success.

If you had to work in another industry, what would it be?

I would love to work in the wine industry. I enjoy red wine, particularly from the Bordeaux region, learning about new wines and the wine-making process.

Which three people would be at your fantasy dinner party?

Michael Mosley, as I find his personal health explorations fascinating, and the comedians Jenny Eclair and Michael McIntyre.

If you were Prime Minister for the day, what would you do?

I think everyone should be taught how to budget from a young age. This is such an important life skill. If I were PM for the day, I would include budgeting and personal finance in the school syllabus.

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