International Women’s Day 2021
International Women’s Day is a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the globe.
MHA Moore and Smalley and the wider MHA network are pleased to boast over 1000 female employees, with 265 in senior roles. Many of these remarkable women began their careers with the firm as trainees and Ginni Cooper, Corporate Partner, is no exception.
Ginni joined MHA Moore and Smalley in December 1995 and completed her AAT and ACA training in the first few years of her career. She has risen through the ranks and is now responsible for a varied portfolio of medium and large owner-managed businesses.
Ginni is a strong believer in delivering client service and works hard to develop long-standing relationships, whilst delivering on both compliance and advisory requirements. She is also head of the Manufacturing and Engineering team and has been involved in judging local business awards relevant to the sector over recent years.
We asked Ginni some questions to find out more about her career highlights, the challenges she has overcome and what advice she has for other women setting out on their career paths in the accountancy profession.
What did you want to be growing up? If it wasn’t an accountant, what made you change your mind?
For several years I had my heart set on being a sports physiotherapist, with visions of touring the world with a top-ranking sports team!
Once reality set in, I turned my attention to more academic roles and considered law as a profession – this quickly dissipated when I decided university was not the path for me. Having worked part time whilst at school/college, I had become accustomed to earning money and my preference was to get a job and a qualification at the same time – a career in accountancy seemed the perfect fit. In comparison to the university route I think it was probably a tougher path to take – the ACA training program was reserved for graduates at the time and I had to convince my boss I was capable of progressing past the AAT.
What advice do you wish you could have given to your younger self that might help other women in the early days of their career?
To be yourself, play to your strengths and not judge yourself too harshly. It can be all too easy to look at other’s successes and overlook your own.
I have always been a firm believer in hard work and trying to lead by example and I think that has been the foundations of my work life. Being prepared to accept feedback and learn from others has been vital. I’m lucky to have worked with many proficient individuals who have been pivotal in broadening my knowledge and experience.
What are you most proud of?
Being invited into partnership in 2017 was obviously a proud moment.
I’m also proud to have been a part of the growth journey that MHA Moore and Smalley has been on over the past few years. When I started out as a trainee we had 3 offices and 120 staff – we’re not far from triple those numbers now. This progress over the years has provided me with opportunities to develop and fulfil my career aspirations without feeling the need to move elsewhere.
What has been your biggest professional challenge to date? How did you overcome it?
The last 12 months have clearly been very challenging for everyone – personally I have tried to stay positive, which has been difficult during the times when the broadband broke! Adaptability and time management have become more vital than ever in keeping oneself sane – planning time for a break during the day, getting out for some fresh air before it goes dark and being disciplined to switch the laptop off and walk away at a decent time in the day have all been new challenges whilst working from home.
What is your top stress-busting tip?
Exercise – whether it’s walking the dogs, playing competitive sport or a session in the gym. I find this gives me space to process any thoughts, clear my head and put things in perspective or simply let off some steam when needed.