Young woman qualifies as social mobility charity’s first female chartered accountant

Bola LowalThe first woman from the social mobility charity, Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB), has qualified as a fully-fledged accountant.

Bola Lawal, 24, joined LTSB’s apprenticeship programme in September 2015 and trained with Berg Kaprow Lewis LLP (BKL) in Finchley before securing a role with Santander.

Bola, who was previously recognised as LTSB’s Apprentice of the Year, became fully qualified at the end of 2019 and said she was delighted that her hard work had paid off: “It takes an extreme amount of hard work and effort. At times I would work till late during the week then go for classes during the weekend and go straight back to work the following Monday with no breaks. It’s wasn’t easy but the key for me was staying motivated and focused on the fact that this is all part of the journey.”

Bola, who lives in Essex, added: “It feels great to be a qualified accountant but quite surreal at the same time because it’s been a long time coming.

“I could not have imagined any of this at all 5 years ago. I’ve always worked hard and hoped to achieve this but I didn’t know how and when I was going to get there.

“My friends and family are very proud and a little bit relieved for me now that it’s all over!”

As part of the LTSB apprenticeship, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds secure jobs with blue chip companies in the financial sector, Bola completed AAT Levels 2 and 3 through the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.

Bola continued her accountancy education by taking a ACCA at Kaplan, the UK’s largest accountancy training provider.

The former CONEL student was full of praise for apprenticeships and advised those currently considering university to think twice: “My advice to school leavers is to follow your own path. You definitely do not need to go to university to get a top job, you do have to be determined and ready to work hard.”

“I definitely could not have done any of this without the support of LTSB. I don’t know where my career would be but most importantly my growth and belief in myself, coming from where I started to achieving this has a lot to do with LTSB.”

David Pinchin launched LTSB in 2012 after a successful career in the city where he co-founded brokers Tradition Financial Services in 1985.

He said: “Bola is an amazing young woman who should be extremely proud of her achievements – she’s a great example of the talent and drive that can too often be overlooked, leading to a cycle of underemployment and lost potential.”

To help more deserving bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, LTSB needs more employers and funding partners. Please contact chief executive of LTSB Caroline Adair: [email protected] if you can help directly or indirectly.

Related Posts

Comment on this

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WeAreTheCity staff are all working remotely as per the UK government's advisory. We are always looking at ways we can support women in business remotely and have launched a series of FREE virtual events (WeAreVirtual) to help support everyone in their careers and their well being. This could not be possible without the support of our network and we are very thankful for the time given by all of our speakers at these sessions.