FD in five minutes Stephanie Swan

The finance director at Pathway, which helps homeless people take care of their health, talks to Third Sector

Stephanie Swan
Stephanie Swan

Why did you choose finance as a career?

I stumbled into it by accident. I joined the Greater London Council as a clerical officer after leaving school and was assigned to the finance team of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Department. Later, I was given the opportunity to study for an accounting qualification.

What made you work in the charity sector?

By accident really. After a couple of months being bored in "retirement", I was contacted by Alex Bax, a former colleague. He asked me to help him prepare a business case and our resulting recommendation was to create a charity. In 2010 Pathway was born. I was asked to stay on as finance and administration director.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

There are many. Two slightly different ones outside finance are: I implemented the mayor’s London Partnerships Register, which led to the civil partnerships legislation; and I project managed the London leg of the 2004 Olympics torch relay.

What do you do outside work?

I am chair of a small disabled children’s charity, Snaap. I enjoy paper crafting and make cards. I also have a cockatoo who, at times, demands as much attention as a child. I enjoy rummaging around antiques and collectors fairs, reading, and visiting south-west Ireland and Italy.

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