I am delighted to present the eleventh in a series of profiles of senior women in Indirect Tax. The aim is to showcase the talents, experience and stories of these amazing women, and provide some insight into their professional and personal lives, what inspires them and what wisdom they can share. My eleventh interviewee is Rosie Higgins.
Rosie is a VAT Partner at EY based in London, supporting multinational businesses primarily within the Telecoms, Media and Technology sector, as well as with deep experience on international supply chains, and supply chain optimization. She has over 15 years’ experience, including 18 months on secondment in industry. Rosie is a CTA prize winner and holds a first class BSc degree in Mathematics.’
- What gets you up in the morning?
CrossFit (my gym habit/cult) and cold brew coffee!
- Can you describe your current role to me in 1 sentence?
I am a Partner in our London VAT practice working primarily with clients in the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sectors.
- What led you to your current position?
I started as a grad at EY. I’ve done various different things over the years including 18 months’ secondment in a global consumer products group, and also moved to a competitor firm for a few years before returning to EY. I originally didn’t sector specialise, but after my secondment I focused primarily on operating model and supply chain transformation, and then in the run up to the 2015 e-services changes I found myself working increasingly with TMT businesses around this, so I then moved to focus more on this sector.
- How did you get into Indirect Tax in the first place?
Strangely, I think I am one of the rare people who applied directly to Indirect Tax as a graduate! I did a maths degree so thought tax would be a good place to apply, and Indirect Tax sounded the most interesting (which it is!)
- What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the Indirect Tax industry right now?
The speed of change and digital transformation
- What advice would you give to young professionals – especially women – starting out on their Indirect Tax careers?
Indirect Tax is so broad and there are so many things you can get involved in, so be curious. Ask questions, get involved, try new things. And don’t underestimate the importance of building your network and developing sponsors and mentors. It’s never too early to start.
- What barriers have you had to overcome during your career to date?
Primarily my own internal barriers! Eg imposter syndrome, and not having the confidence to say when I wanted to progress and ask for help. I’ve found that if you ask for help to progress and are open to hear and act upon honest feedback, everyone will try to help you succeed, but for me the challenge was having the confidence to put my hand up in the first place. EY is a great place to work as a woman, and is differentially investing in female talent, so I look forward to helping build others’ confidence and watching them flourish!
- Have there been times when you considered changing career tack?
Yes, I considered moving to Cornwall and setting up a cider farm….
- And if yes – what made you stay?
It’s still in my retirement plan….!
- What has been your ‘career-defining’ moment?
Making partner from 1 July this year.
- What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A teacher, or backing dancer in Top of the Pops (if only it hadn’t been taken off-air I’d be there now….!)
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to try things and learn to fail. That’s when you learn the most.
- What are your honest thoughts on social media?
Great, with caution – you need to understand why you’re using it, not treat it as a substitute for the real world, and recognise that most people only share their ‘best bits’ so don’t compare. I use LinkedIn for business, and Instagram (primarily for interests rather than friends) but not Facebook.
- If you won a big award, who would you thank?
There are too many people to name here who have helped me get where I am
- What’s the best thing anyone has ever done for you?
In a work context, given me honest difficult feedback.
- What’s the one word you’d want people to describe you with?
- Books or kindle?
- If you could have a Skype chat with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
That’s a tough one – maybe Jacinda Ardern as I think she’s a great leader
- What is your best time saving tip?
Block out time in your diary for anything that needs to get done (including the important non-urgent stuff like self-development). Otherwise something else will come up and your days will get longer and longer.
- What has been the best part of your day today?
Passing on some excellent feedback from a client onto the team member it was about. I am really passionate about developing our people, so I am really excited about using the Partner role to continue to develop more future female leaders
- Favorite holiday destination?
Cornwall or Bali
- Tell me one thing that people might not know about you……
I was a special constable (volunteer police officer) for about ten years, and have arrested lots of people!
- by Liz Watt