International Women’s Day 2021 at NIESR: Helen Finely

The theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, asking us to “Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”.

To celebrate IWD at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), we are publishing a series of Q&A blogs written by women at NIESR to explore various topics to celebrate their achievements, including the challenges and barriers they have overcome. We hope these blogs raise awareness against bias and encourage us all to take action for equality.

Helen Finely is NIESR's Chief Financial Officer.


How long have you worked at NIESR, and what does your role involve?

I am the Chief Financial Officer for NIESR and have worked here for 18 months. I have worked in a variety of roles throughout my career, from forensic accounting and investment banking through to internet start-ups and running my own company, most of which focused on project management and problem solving. 

I enjoy my role at NIESR because working in a smaller organisation means that you have to cover many roles and no two days are ever the same.  My job covers most of the Professional Support Services, including financial analysis, advising on IT infrastructure and managing premises and staff, and I find the variety both challenging and interesting.


What advice would you give a young woman who is about to begin their career?

I’ve enjoyed a portfolio career and have always found it important to focus on what I need in terms of work-life balance, and then arrange a working pattern to match. Don’t lose sight of your personal goals and then ensure that your work goals are aligned with them and not the other way around. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

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