“Women need to fight just as hard as men to succeed, and they shouldn’t be saying women are equal to men, because they’re not. Women are not equal.”
This is the opinion of a woman who has succeeded in the tough, male-dominated business of finance broking. It’s from a woman who isn’t afraid to “tell it as I see it”, even if it means she might ruffle a few petticoats.
Michelle Ivanov is the founder and director of Supra Finance and freely admits she can come across as direct and opinionated, but believes it’s not only a strength of her personality, but a strength of her business.
Michelle comments that “I’ve been criticised a lot in business for the way I do things, but I believe it works for my clients. I think they want a direct approach with no pretty edges.
“So if they can’t do what they need to do, I tell them. I’d rather a quick ‘no’ than a slow drawn out answer. I am very direct, which a lot of people either like or don’t like.”
It wasn’t always this way though for Michelle. She was bullied at school and spent much of her childhood trying to be someone she wasn’t, just to fit in.
Looking back, Michelle recalls, “I was a fat kid and received a lot of bullying because of the way I looked. I let it control my life for a long time. I spent many years hiding away from people and putting on a front of who I wasn’t.
“I thought being what other people wanted was the way to make friends and impress people. All it did was make me very depressed and I didn’t like the person I’d become.”
Eventually Michelle decided to “stand up for what I believe in, and it made me a little bitter to start with, but I turned that bitterness into a really strong personality. I wasn’t afraid to say what I like and what I didn’t like.