Women in FM – Myfanwe Costin
In the second of our Women in FM series, we talk to Myfanwe Costin, our Finance Manager for AM Services Group.
In the UK, gender diversity within the financial services industry is reported to have improved in recent years, with 43% of women making up the workforce in 2021. However, the picture of women in top level positions in finance seems to be quite different. According to government statistics, just 15% of finance directors in the UK FTSE 100 companies are women.
This, alongside the fact that FM still is not proactively promoted by schools, colleges and universities as an attractive career path – especially for women – led us to ask Myfanwe about her role in our business, how she came to finance and facilities management as a career, and how she would encourage other young women to strive towards a successful senior management role in the FM industry.
What has been your path to reaching a senior finance management position in a leading FM company?
I joined AM Services Group in 2018, after working in accounting roles in the Lancaster area and with a BBA Degree in Business Management from world-ranked international business school Lancaster University Management School. I have continued with CIMA qualifications and with professional learning after my degree to support my skills, knowledge and career development.
I was taught by my dad to have a strong work ethic and have always worked hard, and with dedication and ambition.
I believe it’s difficult being not only female but being a young female in a senior finance and management role, and being recognised for your skills, efforts and achievements.
At AM Services Group, I have been allowed and indeed enabled to shine, rather than being held back as can happen in other companies. Our MD Greg O’Brien provides great mentorship, backed by continuous, strong support and training alongside on-the-job learning.
Regardless of my age or gender, I have been valued and well-respected at AM Services Group.
In previous roles, I have found that many other companies have a male-orientated, older pool of senior managers. This is also fairly true across the facilities management sector. However, here my opinion matters and I am listened to and valued. This has enabled and encouraged me to shine in my role and has created the opportunity to adapt and grow.
Why do you enjoy working in and using your skills at AM Services Group?
It is a very exciting environment to work in as we have weekly and monthly targets and deadlines, yet in FM each day can be very different.
I have supportive management colleagues and directors as well as a strong business and administration support team. I like that we all work together very well as a team.
Together with financial management, part of my role is ensuring high levels of organisational effectiveness and communication. While I have been here, I have enjoyed developing a very good understanding of all aspects of this within the business and that this knowledge has been key to underpinning the ongoing growth and development of the company.
What skills do you bring to your role?
I’ve found that good organisation and communication is key to success, as well as developing and motivating a strong support team. Motivation is key to happy staff and a small “thank you” can go a massive way to help.
This has been a foundation for my career progression.
What has been your greatest achievement at AM Services Group?
I am extremely proud, and feel it was a fantastic achievement, to have been made part of the senior management team, attending board meetings by the time I was 30 years old.
I have been responsible for control and cost savings across the business and have achieved success by making sure that the “pennies are looked after”. For me, it’s about doing my job well to make best use of company time and money.
I was honoured to be invited down to Pinnacle Group’s London head office to contribute to top level business meetings for the M&A process.
As a strong, independent woman, who has always been proud to make her own way in life, I am very proud to show other young women my achievements as a positive example.
Three years ago, I was named runner-up in the Lancashire Business View Sub36 Awards in the Leadership category.
Would you encourage other women to work in the FM industry?
Yes I would. I think it’s a brilliant industry to work in and I have certainly learned a lot over the years. I have been encouraged to ‘grow’ in the company, not only in finance but in other relevant areas, such as management, health & safety and first aid.
My five year goal is to become a Director and I’m sure that, with continued hard work and dedication, this can be achieved.