OXSWIFT network for senior women in finance is set to expand

OXSWIFT members at Waterstock Golf Club.

A network for Oxfordshire’s senior women in finance is set to expand after attracting more than 50 of the county’s finest female professionals.

OXSWIFT (Oxfordshire Senior Women in Finance and Tax) was founded last year by Oxford resident Margaret Savory, a senior tax manager at accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, after she realised the lack of existing local networks for women working in accountancy, finance or tax roles in industry.

To date, the group has held three events – the most recent at Waterstock Golf Club – but the considerable uptake has allowed Margaret to expand the network along the Thames Valley and form a new group in Reading, with plans to launch in the autumn. She is also working on creating an online LinkedIn group, for professional knowledge and idea sharing.

Margaret comments: “Senior women in any profession should be celebrated and have a support network.  There are so many other parts of the UK with established women’s networks, but there didn’t seem to be anything like that in Oxfordshire – certainly not for accountants and tax professionals working in industry and outside of professional practices.

“The fact that so many women have expressed an interest in OXSWIFT in such a short space of time demonstrates the appetite that was there and will hopefully serve to encourage and inspire women who are looking to progress in their careers.”

Clare Smith, financial controller at Harrison Catering Services in Thame attended the latest golf event.  She said: “The meetings provide a great opportunity for like-minded women to get together, create new connections and share knowledge and experiences while in a friendly environment.”

Anita Caddy, finance director at Meech International, a leading manufacturer in Witney, also joined OXSWIFT earlier this year.  She added: “It’s rare that women in senior positions get to meet and collaborate with their peers.  I’d certainly recommend and encourage more networks to empower more women in business.”