Circularity First welcomes new Finance Director Selina Kavanagh

March 12, 2023
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‘If I could have written myself a role, this would be it’: Circularity First welcomes new Finance Director Selina Kavanagh with a less than linear career path into technology

Selina Kavanagh began her career as a midwife before ‘finding her groove’ in finance and entering the corporate world. In her newest role, she is committed to delivering financial health and growth to sustainable IT pioneer Circularity First.

Since moving on from the female-oriented world of midwifery and having her own children, Selina has worked in the traditionally male-dominated fields of construction, manufacturing, and IT. A bona fide geek who admits she loves a spreadsheet and can’t enjoy a holiday without solving logic puzzles by the pool, finance is what makes Selina tick. She is candid in wanting more women to feel as supported as she did in pursuing a leadership role.

Naturally drawn to statistics, she recites from Careers After Babies author Jessica Heagren: “24% of women go back to work full time after having children. Of that 24%, 57% of them leave within two years, many due to redundancy or poor mental health. When companies put women into different roles after maternity leave, 79% of them leave within two years. The number of women in management drops by 32% after having children. To put it into perspective, 86% of women will be a mother by the time they turn 40. By overlooking working mums, you overlook around 43% of the working population.” 

It’s never just about the numbers.

Selina is proud to channel her ambition into driving Circularity First’s sustainability agenda. She is fully supportive of their mission to bring IT into circular economy discourse and make non-linear supply models the default choice for businesses, especially as a circular approach is often better for the bottom line. Although she’s in number crunching mode as she consolidates impeccable financial data that will drive the company’s progress at every level, she is passionate about the holistic impact her department can have on decision making:

“The real value in finance doesn’t come from a spreadsheet that shows you what your profit number is; it comes from the commercial input that you can have and the insight that you can give to a business. And now that finance’s remit is expanding, that can include driving things like the sustainability agenda and carbon reporting. That takes on an operational impact that doesn’t just ask how we can maximise profit, but how we make sure we’re protecting the planet for future generations. It’s never just about the numbers; it’s about what the numbers mean.”

Selina Kavanagh, Financial Director at Circularity First

Second to gender inequality in business – a culture shift she suggests is long overdue – Selina’s pet hate is micromanagement. As such, she guides her team of accountable, creative individuals with a light touch, trusting them to find their own path. As a woman with a strikingly varied CV, it’s not surprising Selina counts Angelina Jolie as her role model, horse riding as the ultimate de-stressor, and her work in sustainable IT as a labour of love.

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