Meet Jackie Glassock, Managing Director of Glassock and Associates. Jackie Glassock only discovered her love for numbers after school, and her passion for finance further down the line. With her honours in tax law, she is part of a company that started as a family-run business with one client more than 30 years ago. The company has grown into an industry leader and is consistently placed in the top five percent of fund administrators in the country. It counts one of the five biggest funds in South Africa among its clients.
What did you study and what has been your career path thus far?
At school I struggled with maths and for the most part was more interested in sport, excelling on the hockey field and in the swimming pool. I did just enough to get me into a BComm at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. At university I realised that numbers weren’t actually that difficult for me and I ended up majoring in economics along with business finance. I particularly enjoyed accounting as well as statistics. After graduating I started a catering company part-time and worked as an accountant/administrator in a small family business. I very quickly realised that my passion was in finance and so started studying again part-time, doing my honours in tax law at Wits University. My career has given me the opportunity to do everything from the ground up. I think this gives me a better idea of exactly how the business ticks and how important all the roles in the organisation are.
What would you say the highlight of your job is?
Without a doubt the highlight of my job today is teaching young graduates what I know about finance, tax and the pension funds industry. We operate in a very dynamic environment so there is always something new to learn and become involved in. Creating wealth for your clients is also very rewarding - and being entrusted to do that is hugely satisfying. Being a part of a four-man (actually, one man and three competent ladies) company and watching it grow into something truly meaningful has also been the highlight of my career.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that’s helped you in your career?
To do everything I do with the utmost integrity and to understand that we never truly stop learning. To always be hungry for knowledge and never shy away from challenges.
What would you say it takes to succeed as a woman in finance?
Resilience and hard work mostly, but also not to be intimidated in this male-dominated environment.
There is a perception that the finance sector can be a bit of a "boys club" - would you say you have experienced this stereotype to be true in any way in your career?
There is this stigma attached to the finance sector because males dominate it so heavily, and you definitely experience this stereotype, but I think it is important not to allow yourself to have limiting beliefs and to continuously challenge any stereotype. If you don’t limit your beliefs then others who interact with you will find it harder and harder to do the same. There are more and more successful women in the finance industry and I choose to focus on that.
What tips would you give to those entering the finance world?
My advice for anyone entering the finance world would be to be prepared to work hard and don’t ever cut corners. Dealing with people’s money is a huge responsibility and needs to be treated as such. You have to be able to develop trust and you can only do that if you have the highest level of integrity. Keep reading and learning so that you are best equipped to pass on that knowledge, and share knowledge with everyone you interact with.
WANT MORE ’FEMMES IN FINANCE’? READ HERE:
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Nicole Cameron is a features writer with over twelve years’ experience, focusing primarily on the business market with a niche focus on entrepreneurship. She has written on a variety of topics for Sharenet and is excited to be focusing on women in finance in her new monthly column "Femmes in Finance". She holds a Business Science degree from UCT and is passionate about reporting on the events and people that make up the local business landscape.