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Broker organises ‘girls’ trip’ to raise importance of work/life balance

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  • 31/05/2024
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Broker organises ‘girls’ trip’ to raise importance of work/life balance
Mortgage and protection adviser at Moneysprite Aleka Gutzmore organised a short holiday with 10 women to raise awareness of financial security, wellbeing and taking time off work.

Off the back of data that found that 60% of workers in the UK did not take all of their annual leave in 2022 and 2023, Gutzmore said women were even less likely to use their allowance to relax. 

She said women tended to use their annual leave to take care of life admin, such as their parental duties. 

Gutzmore (pictured) said she was inspired to arrange the trip to Salou, Spain, as she had been focusing on a more “holistic approach” to financial and personal wellbeing and recognised the impact adversities could have on finances and health, particularly on women from “economically diverse communities”. 

Gutzmore said: “My passion lies in transforming data into creative presentations to help others enhance their financial wellbeing and embrace a positive relationship with money. I aim to empower people to secure their future and enjoy the rewards of financial stability. 

Girls Trip 24 was an expression of collective coaching and reward, an exciting opportunity for a group to work towards a common goal. I wanted those on the trip to commit to doing something for themselves and connect with likeminded women simultaneously.” 

She said this was her longest and first event outside of the UK. Describing it as “gratifying and enjoyable”, Gutzmore said she would organise a similar event again.

Otherwise, Gutzmore will continue to conduct one-to-one appointments and hold her Financial Hug events, which are advice sessions focused on business goals, life coaching and personal finance. 

She added: “I am committed to challenging the status quo and spreading awareness about the importance of securing income, lifestyle, health, and wealth benefits and the role of personal protection as primary products in a comprehensive wealth portfolio and plan.” 

 

 

Remembering to take time out 

Kernisha Taylor, a property investor who is also one of Gutzmore’s clients, was among the women on the trip. 

Taylor said the idea was centred around the fact that women worked and ran the home, yet “whenever you do take time out, that time is also generally spent with your family”. 

She added: “[Women] rarely say ‘I’m going to pause and have these three or four days to replenish’”. 

The trip took place from 16 to 19 May, and the ages of the guests ranged from 34 to over 60. 

Taylor said: “Everybody had a different walk and a different journey of life. It wasn’t professional people trying to sell anything, it was people sharing their journeys and insights and how they manage in their own situations.” 

Gutzmore planned the entire trip, and gave the women the option of paying upfront or in instalments. As the holiday was from Thursday to Friday, the attendees only needed to use two days of their annual leave. 

Taylor said the organisation made it easier to say yes and she came back from feeling “refreshed” and “rejuvenated”. 

 

Indulging in self-care 

Melissa Urquhart, HR manager at Kids in Charge, said she was already “passionate” about the concept of wellness and self-care, both for individuals and companies. 

Her work includes addressing burnout and implementing self-care regimes with a holistic approach. 

This stemmed from Urquhart’s polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis, which led to her developing a passion for natural and organic treatments. 

“It all encapsulated what Aleka was doing on this trip. I was really intrigued and wanted to be a part of it,” she added. 

She said: “I love self-care. That is my thing. I can talk about self-care, natural hair, natural things all day every day. 

“When you learn to love yourself and embrace who you are, you can’t help but want to include self-care in that. And this girl’s trip was a reminder for me.” 

Urquhart said the trip reaffirmed her belief that women needed to look after themselves, and despite being in “the most privileged position now, probably than ever before in history”, the “commitment to self” was still not being prioritised.

Urquhart said it was “innate” to women to “always consider others first”, so agreeing to the trip was “easy in principle”. 

It also lined up with her working pattern, as she had Thursday off and a half-day on Friday, but Urquhart added that she “would have made that sacrifice anyway”. 

 

Connecting with people 

Rebecca Grant, an in-branch mortgage adviser at Barclays, came across Gutzmore on LinkedIn and after reaching out to her for mentorship. 

She said the girls’ trip intrigued her because she wanted to connect with women from different professional backgrounds. 

“I also loved the idea of stepping away from the day-to-day of a 9-5 and focusing on my own personal wellbeing. It was needed,” she added. 

Grant said it was difficult to agree to the trip at first because, while her employer is “very accommodating”, she is “very committed” to her work. 

However, she had accumulated a lot of annual leave, meaning the trip “came at the right time, for sure”. 

Grant said it taught her to take time out to avoid burnout, focus on her goals and aspirations, and connect more with people “without doubt or hesitation”. 

It also encouraged her to take a solo trip next year and gave her the confidence to sign up to more networking events. 

Grant will also make sure to pre-plan her annual leave, she said, and “always check how much I have annually and take more initiative to stay connected to people I meet in the future”. 

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