To mark International Women’s Day 2023, we feature some of our female team in leadership roles. This article features Hilary Larkin, who shares some of her achievements and challenges.
Tell us a little bit about you and your career.
I joined Mazars 15 years ago as an audit trainee in the Privately-Owned Businesses Division, having completed a Bachelor of Commerce at University of Galway. After qualifying as a chartered accountant, I transitioned to the financial ddvisory and Insolvency Services division. I spent several years working on a large and diverse portfolio of Liquidations, Receiverships and Restructuring assignments. I was promoted to Partner in 2015 and was recently appointed Lead Partner and Head of Accounting and Outsourcing Services on behalf of Mazars in Ireland. I now lead a team of over 50 professionals and assist a wide range of clients including, emerging businesses, established domestic businesses and multinational clients.
Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
If I look at my upbringing, I learned my work ethic from my parents. I learned that there is no such thing as a glass ceiling from my aunt, who smashed the ranks in the construction sector in the 1990s and always taught me that I could achieve anything I wanted if I worked for it.
At Mazars, I always felt great support from my mentors and was surrounded by inspiring people. Horse racing is my passion, and Rachael Blackmore has been an inspirational trailblazer in proving beyond all doubt that the race course is a level playing field and that anything is possible.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
To me International Women’s Day is not about one day, but rather an acknowledgement and celebration of the significance and importance of focusing on equality and inclusivity.
The theme for IWD 2023 is #EmbraceEquality. Can you share any challenges or barriers that you have encountered in your career to date and how you overcame them?
I spent many years establishing myself as a prominent player in the insolvency market in what was traditionally a very male-dominated area. I never saw this as a barrier or challenge or felt there was a glass ceiling for me in the industry. I was lucky to have worked in a very inclusive environment where everyone is evaluated based on contribution, work ethic, input and ideas.
How have you built confidence and/or resilience in your career? Do you have any practical tips you can share?
In my experience, the foundation for confidence is self-belief and getting on top of your subject matter. This empowers confidence and sets you apart from your peers.
Insolvency is a tough business, there are a lot of ups and downs and stresses that come with the role, which by its very nature instils resilience.
Business is tough. You are never going to win every time, and there will always be a share of setbacks. The key to success is to keep a cool head, tackle setbacks one at a time and learn and develop coping mechanisms and techniques to overcome them.
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
Diversity unites different perspectives and strengths within the workplace, inevitably enhancing team morale and makes for a more vibrant working dynamic.
Can you share any advice you would give to some now who is developing their career?
The best advice is to surround yourself with good people, develop a strong work ethic, soak up every bit of experience that comes your way, and approach you career with an open mind and enthusiasm. Life is a cycle of continuous learning so embrace it!