Female leadership spotlight - Eimear O'Connor

Experiences· 8min March 29, 2021

As part of Women’s History Month, we have brought together a series highlighting the wonderful women that lead Form3. The third spotlight is Eimear O’Connor, Form3's Chief Operating Officer.

Tell us about your career?

I joined Form3 as the Chief Operating Officer and part of the founding management, when Form3 was just 6-months old, back in 2017. My role spans both the Business and Service Operations of the company.

Before joining Form3 I worked and consulted within financial services organisations on strategy, product and operations for over 15 years. Among the many highlights was my role just before this at Barclays, where I was responsible for the corporate product development of Pingit, an award-winning open market mobile payments platform.

What sparked your interest in Form3?

Put simply, the people and the proposition. When I joined Form3, there were only 6 employees. Today, there are over 200. Despite this growth, the culture at Form3 remains one of the qualities that first attracted me to the company. Our people have always been very knowledgeable about the areas they work in and passionate about creative problem solving. There’s a real desire to create and nurture a business that we’re all proud to work for. Whether the challenge is finding a solution to a business issue for our customers, expanding our product offering, or delivering the high level of service and support our customers have come to expect from us our teams are passionate about finding great solutions. This creativity and passion are two of the things that still keep me excited about work every day.

Tell us about your biggest adventure?

About 10 years ago my (now) husband and I left our jobs, packed our bags and headed off on our ‘late in life’ gap year. We skied the Canadian Rockies for 3-months, toured around Australia and New Zealand and for 6-months we lived on our boat pottering around the Mediterranean between Western Greece and Turkey. What a year!

What is the biggest thing you have learned as a leader?

Own your challenges – and don’t wait around and expect someone else to solve problems for you. If you see there’s an issue, be proactive and take the initiative, rally the team, get people involved, collaborate, find a solution and simply get the job done. The collaboration piece is essential as this is what creates the best solutions, ensures others are engaged and enables people to own their solutions and run with them. Build confidence, spread the ownership and have trust!

What is it like working in an industry that is traditionally male dominated?

I’ve always worked in male dominated industries and so it’s difficult for me to consider what my career would look like anywhere else. That said, I’ve always believed I could achieve the goals I set for myself, and still believe in that today.

There are challenges in the industry of course, but I do think it can and must change, young women at any point in their careers must know that no door is closed as a result of their gender.

If you could give career advice to a woman early on in her career, what would it be?

Be brave. Have confidence in yourself and have the courage to communicate that confidence in all that you do.

But also look for people who will give you honest and open feedback – both positive and negative! Listen to this network of ‘trusted allies, absorb what they have to say - even if that’s tough to hear sometimes - and use it to help you grow.

If you weren’t the COO of Form3, what would be your dream career?

Tough one… but if it could involve a little shop by the sea, selling beautiful dresses and fabulous accessories with a cute café sitting alongside it, then that would be great!