Connect with non-profits seeking volunteer financial skills
Ayan Man — making the world a safer and more equal place
Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, 2001
Director of Risk Assurance, Bupa
Trustee of the Maya Centre and school governor
“As a mother to two young daughters, I am passionate about making the world a safer and more equal place for them and future generations of women. Being able to use my professional skills to support the Maya Centre and a local school is a humbling experience and one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, both personally and professionally.”
How did you get involved in volunteering?
The desire to do something for the community — as a non-front line professional, it has often been difficult to appreciate how my “day job” benefits and contributes to the wider community. Volunteering enables me to see more directly how I can use my skills and experience to make a difference.
What do you most enjoy about volunteering?
Working with some brilliant people whom I would have otherwise not met.
What has been your proudest moment as a volunteer?
Covid-19 has presented some particular challenges this year and I am proud of being able to use my skills and experience to help both the non-profits I work with to quickly understand the impact and help shape their plans in order to operate in a safe way.
What has been the toughest time volunteering?
It has been a steep learning curve to understand sectors that I have not worked in before. It has also been tough to hear some of the heart-breaking experiences of people living in our society and realising there is so much more each of us needs to do to help.
How have your accountancy skills come into play?
As an accountant and risk professional, I have been trained to ask challenging questions in a sensitive way. This is a valuable skill on a Board of Trustees and Governors. My analytical skills have also enabled me to focus on what is important and the right areas to probe.
What have you learnt from volunteering?
Aside from the insight into a different part of society I have learnt a huge amount professionally. First-hand experience as a Non-Executive Board member has helped me present and position papers to my own Board. It has also enabled me to learn from other Board members who have very different training and backgrounds, from counsellors and NHS workers to barrister for the FCA.
What would be your one piece of advice for accountants looking to volunteer?
Find causes that are close to your heart and just get involved!
How can get more accountants volunteering?
Influence more employers. It is often difficult to balance work and interests outside of work. I have been incredibly grateful to my employer who really promotes volunteering and charitable work as part of what we do!