Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2014 Contents www.guardian.co.tt
| COVER FEATURE |
By Christine Dalkan Photography by Richard Cook Make-up by Laurie Henry
CLIMBING THE corporate ladder in stilettos has not been
easy, admits Liz Harford. But that has not stopped her from
proving she can do the job as good as anyone else. She has
over 15 years' experience within the energy sector in
Trinidad and Tobago and today is the Chief Financial Officer
(CFO) of Range Resources Trinidad Limited.
Harford seems to be the kind of person who takes her des-
tiny into her own hands. When she graduated from high
school, she chose not to follow the crowd. While most of her
peers chose to attend university, Liz decided to get her
hands dirty in the working world. While there were detrac-
tors who thought her choice pointed to an obvious lack of
ambition, she married study with hard work and never
Harford went from Accounting Assistant to Accountant to
Financial Controller and then Chief Financial Officer, a post
she has held for the past 10 years. She confounded her crit-
ics even further by acquiring the Certified Accounting Tech-
nician qualification, becoming a fellow of the Association of
Certified Chartered Accountants and earning her US Certi-
fied Internal Auditor's accreditation, all while working full
time. Harford says she has never regretted choosing to
study and work simultaneously, as it has given her practical
experience while putting her textbook learning to real-time
All this ambition and determination is rooted in her love for
finance. She realised this passion while attending high
school in the United States, where she was introduced to
the subject. Added to her instant liking for the subject, was
the fact that the teacher in charge of the department hap-
pened to be a Trinidadian and was friendly and supportive.
Speaking to Harford, it is impossible not to sense her pas-
sion for what she does. "My job is absolutely dynamic!" she
says, going on to describe how amazing finance is, how it
lets you solve problems and make things balance. "The world
of finance is ever changing and continuously evolving, and
keeping abreast of practices, standards, new systems, con-
trols, technology and reporting makes my role exciting day-
in, day-out. Many may say Finance/Accounting is boring and
monotonous; I say this is so far from the truth." She says
"Being a part of decision making and knowing how impor-
tant my function is in making decisions for future plans and
delivering timely and accurate information gives me satis-
faction at the end of each work day. I enjoy the excitement
of the high risk industry."
Harford's passion extends to her staff as well, as she says
she enjoys promoting her employees and helping them re-
alise their dreams. She holds the reins as mentor (to her em-
ployees), CFO, wife and mother. To be all this, Harford says
her motivation and inspiration come from different sources.
"My main motivator is my mother; she is someone that can
always turn my trials to triumphs no matter the time of day
or night, no matter the size of the problem. My source of in-
spiration comes from God and my family," she explains.
With her demanding career, she has also had to draw from
the lessons her parents taught her in order to juggle all her
roles. Like many working mothers, she has had to make sac-
rifices, sometimes taking work home and working on her
computer at nights while her son falls asleep next to her.
She says for as long as she can remember, her parents have
taught her the value of humility and the importance of a
close-knitted and loving family structure. Today, she uses
this lesson to guide her own family life and what she teaches
her three-year-old son.
Harford's other source of support is her husband. "My hus-
band, Roger, teaches me every day the value of patience and
what true love is, a reminder of why I fell in love with him.
We both have demanding careers and yet still he finds the
time to help me with my role as mother and homemaker;
this support helps me to remain an active career woman."
However, although she is grateful to her tight-knit loving net-
work of family members, Liz Harford also believes that a
woman must motivate herself. She says her motivation is
trying to be herself in five years, NOW.
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