Series Eight, Episode Four: People, Policy and Progress: The importance of gender equality and ethnic minority representation

Posted on June 17, 2020

Host Julia Streets is joined by Ann Cairns, Global Co-Chair of the 30% Club and Executive Vice Chairman of Mastercard and Janet Thomas, former President of Women in Banking and Finance and Managing Director of Infinity Capital Partners. They discuss changing times with #250to25, the possibility of achieving a gender equal society within 25 years and the 30% Club’s global ambitions and initiatives.  This episode explores ethnic minority representation in financial services, specifically for women of colour, as they navigate their career paths, keenly mindful of the rate of attrition.  As members of the 30% Club, Janet and Ann discuss how policy can set targets and drive change and we consider the Covid-19 balancing act between women’s roles at work and home, essential as we frame the evolving world of work.

 

Research mentioned in this episode:

Women in the Workforce – Global: Quick Take by Catalyst


Ann Cairns

In her role as Executive Vice Chairman Ann represents Mastercard around the world, focusing on inclusion, diversity and innovation. She plays the important role of senior ambassador and executive leader and sits as part of the company’s global management committee. Prior to her current appointment, Ann was President of International Markets responsible for the management of all Mastercard customer-related activities in over 200 countries.

Ann brings more than 20 years’ experience working in senior management positions across Europe and the U.S. Prior to joining Mastercard in 2011, Ann was head of the Financial Services Group with Alvarez & Marsal, CEO of Transaction Banking at ABN- AMRO and held senior positions at Citigroup.

Ann is currently chair of ICE Clear Europe, owned by the Fortune 500 company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). She is also global co-chair of the 30% Club, the chair of the Financial Alliance for Women and serves as a member of the UK government’s AI Council and the IBDE advisory board. She has a Pure Mathematics degree and honorary doctorate from Sheffield University and a M.Sc. with research into medical statistics and honorary doctorate from Newcastle University.

You can follow Ann on Twitter @AnnMCairns

Janet Thomas

Janet Thomas is a Senior Executive with 20 years’ international banking experience.  Janet’s commercial astuteness enables her to negotiate efficiently, determine quickly whether proposals are financially attractive to be perceived positively. Janet has a unique ability to execute in either large global matrix organizations or start-ups due to her broad and deep business experience.  With her strategic marketing experience, she has transformed markets, differentiated businesses, exploited the application of innovative technology to realise significant market opportunities to create high-profiled profitable global businesses with a sharp focus on customers. She is experienced in building talented teams and driving sustainable businesses.

Janet has designed, developed and implemented both small and large tech initiatives.  As a Financial Matter Expert for PRIME (a Professional Recognised International Market Expert) at The Hague and presenter to the Bank of England Financial Markets Legal Committee, she is called upon for her expert opinion.  

Since 2014, Janet has remained on the Powerlist Top 100 – listing the most influential Afro – Caribbean individuals in the UK and in 2017 was one of the 100 Women to Watch list of Cranfield University & KPMG. 

You can follow Janet on Twitter @JanetThomas08

 

Series Eight, Episode Four Transcript

Julia: Hello, my name is Julia Streets, and welcome to DiverCity Podcast, talking about equality, inclusion, and diversity in financial services. On the podcast we seek to shine a light on positive progress, call out areas requiring further focus and offer lots of ideas to help inspire change.

Today I’m joined by Ann Cairns and Janet Thomas. Ann Cairns is the Executive Vice Chairman of  MasterCard, representing the organisation around the world. With a keen focus on inclusion, diversity and innovation, she plays an important role as Senior Ambassador and Executive Leader for the firm.

She sits on the global management committee and her prestigious career has included serving as the President of International Markets, where Ann oversaw all MasterCard customer related activities in more than 200 countries. It is no surprise that Ann is regularly listed as one of the most influential women in the industry. But in addition, Ann is Global Co-Chair of the 30% Club, she is Chair of the Financial Alliance for women and serves as a member of the UK government’s AI Council and the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange Advisory board. She is currently chair of ICE Clear Europe, owned by the Fortune 500 company, Intercontinental Exchange or ICE. Ann welcome to the show.

Ann: It’s fabulous to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Julia: Janet Thomas is a senior executive with more than 20 years of international banking experience. Having executed transformational innovation, both within complex global financial organisations and early stage startup businesses, she is regularly called upon for her expert opinion at the very highest of levels, most notably as a presenter to the Bank of England financial markets legal committee, and a financial matter expert for PRIME. A professional recognised as an international market expert at The Hague, Janet has been featured on the Power List top 100 listing of the most influential Afro-Caribbean women every year since 2014. Janet, welcome to the show.

Janet: Thank you for inviting me.

Julia: First of all, ladies I’m really intrigued to know what you’ve been up to, your focus for 2020, and also what’s changed. Ann I’m coming to you first of all, what have you been focused on this year?

Ann: I’ve actually been focused on two things and they’re both very important. One is a gender balance and the other is artificial intelligence. It’s quite interesting because this year I would say on the gender side and certainly in my own company MasterCard, we haven’t taken our foot off the gas. We’ve just rolled out a big mentoring programme for women across the company for 800 women. We’ve set ourselves a new target around the world of reaching 25 million women entrepreneurs in the next few years. We’ve made our signature Girls4Tech programme go online. We’ve reached over 800,000 girls right now, but it was very physical. The girls were coming into the office and experiencing what technology was, and now we’ve brought that online which is fabulous. On the artificial intelligence side, I’m actually on the UK Government Council of AI, which has been a fascinating time as we’ve looked at the apps that the NHS are building and actually what artificial intelligence can do to help us through the current pandemic, but also what it could do for us in the future, the future of work.

Julia: I have to say I was in Washington, DC at the Women in Payments conference, and was invited to one of the technology for girls events. In fact, listeners to the show, I actually recorded an interview and I got some live coverage from one of those tech programmes which was just phenomenal. I’m delighted to hear it has gone online. We’ll be featuring that in a future episode as well. 

Ann, wonderful, thank you. Just a quick question for you. We talk about what has changed and clearly taking the programme online has been a major initiative as well. As you’re thinking about working with the various entrepreneurs around the world, any sense of what has shifted in that world?

Ann: We’ve had a massive shift to actually selling online. Many small businesses are completely ill equipped to deal with things like cybercrime, and of course when we’ve gone online obviously you’ve seen an explosion in the rate of fraud in some areas. What we’re doing right now is using our cyber tools to actually help small businesses be able to keep themselves afloat by selling in the online world. But giving them free services to say, this is how you protect yourself. We’re also doing that with health services as well, which are very much at the forefront of things right now.

Julia: Absolutely, wonderful. It’s great to hear that Ann. I know that when we talked at the beginning there about the diversity and inclusion element of that we’ll certainly be returning to that as well.

Ann: Oh yes.

Julia: Hold that question. Janet, let me come to you. You are always exceptionally busy. What’s been your focus for 2020, and again what’s changed?

Janet: What really keeps me busy at the moment, like Ann, I have a couple of things that are very, very exciting. So I’m currently a Managing Director of Infinity Capital. Our core market is really Africa. We have very, very deep relationships with the banking sector across Sub-Saharan Africa. What’s really interesting to me in this period of COVID in particular, is some of the technologies that we saw banks develop 6/7 years ago, they’re now being taken up and used much more aggressively in the new world of COVID, i.e. to inform people when they do transactions. Not only that, the timestamps, the detail on the actual transaction, what they bought, etc. Before it would just be, this is what you purchased, the amount. Now some companies, some banks here in the UK are now giving a lot more detail and information.

That’s really interesting for me. I feel that Africa in a sense is not recognised for something that’s cutting edge and leading technology. When I look forward, what’s really exciting to me is this definition of money. Money and how it’s seen today, I think is going to be the biggest game changer going forward. I think what’s leading the way around that will be what’s happening in the payments space – that’s one thing that I’m very close to. Me and some of the other groups I sit on, we talk about that constantly, about what does the new world look like in terms of currency.

The second thing is that I was recently appointed to a board as a Non-Executive Director. Interestingly a paid board as well, so I get paid for all my expertise which is nice. It’s a health tech company. When I joined in January, COVID wasn’t quite here yet. And it’s a tele-video collaboration platform technology. With COVID what we’ve now found is that we’ve been completely thrown into the spotlight. Everybody wants to use our product, and we’re having to scale up very quickly. I was actually brought onto the board to help with scaling up and to expand internationally.

What I’m finding is that I have to scale up very quickly in the UK at a pace that we never had to before. Then we’re getting lots of enquiries from overseas from the large telecommunication companies. For me it’s a very exciting time. It’s very interesting that healthcare and financial services or the finance industry, the similarities between them is that both those areas are going to undergo significant change. In both those areas, if you think about 5/10 years ahead, I think how we interact with financial services and how we receive healthcare at the point of need or for prevention, it’s going to look very different. I’m very excited about my world personally.

Julia: Fantastic. Thanks. It’s just amazing. I’m a trustee of a charity called StreetChild, and we do a lot of work in Africa as you know. It is interesting to think about the dynamics of money and how that changes the role of technology enabled for financial inclusion. I know that’s something that MasterCard thinks about a great deal as well, really fascinating. I wish we could talk about that actually, but of course being a diversity podcast, we’re going to talk about the changing world of work, if we may. 

Ann I’m going to come to you first of all. We are all adapting to new ways of working exactly as Janet was saying in terms of the technologies that we’re using as well. I’m wondering what, from your opinion, this means for women particularly in the world of work. When they were thinking about wanting to reach a gender equal society within the next 25 years, I wonder to what degree this has gone to galvanise change?

Ann: I don’t think that we’ll go back actually. Women have been asking to be able to work remotely and flexibly for so many years. And for so many years there’s been push back by a very presenteeism culture, especially in the finance world. All of a sudden, because of the pandemic we could switch to working remotely overnight. I mean, I’m actually the Chair of a Clearing House, ICE Clear Europe, and that’s been working remotely even during the times that oil has gone into negative price bands. Amazing. So I think that has really proven that this can work. I think in the future firms will be looking at their real estate and saying, hey, we don’t need these big office blocks in the centre of the city, we can have a mix and match system here that could work a lot better for women who, as we know, have more childcare and ageing parent care going on in their lives.

The only thing I’d say is with the combination of the schools being off at the same time, I’m hearing a lot of complaints from women that I’m talking to. Just before this call, I was on with a very senior female executive who said, “My 12 year old son just refuses to be home educated by his dad, so I have to do all of that.” She’s not the first person who’s said that. So I think that women, while benefiting from this, are struggling with home care with their kids at home. It’s probably made it really clear to the whole world who takes responsibility for the kids. I was reading an article in the New York Times yesterday saying exactly that, Japanese men have suddenly appreciated how much work that working wives do at home. The Japanese men are starting to appreciate that. I’m sure that it’s appreciated all over the world.

Julia: Of course, one big dynamic of that is the unpaid work that women do and it’s an opening realisation to the contribution that that makes not only in terms of home, but society and also the extraneous elements of work as well. I am quite hopeful because if you think about some of the industry dynamics out there, so the Hampton Alexander review in February came out and said that, 57% of organisations are meeting or exceeding the 33% target. I’m wondering to what degree the world looks at numbers like that and thinks it’s job done. I’m obviously now beginning to very gently go into the conversation about the 30% Club. In the current climate, it’s important to keep the foot to the pedal, really. Janet can I come to you and your thoughts on that. In terms of, are we at a point where the world thinks, “okay, so we’ve ticked that box, we’ve got other things to think about. Let’s not worry about it anymore?”

Janet: Yes, I would like to pick up on something that Ann said earlier about not going back, and to give my own perspective on that. I totally agree with that. I just don’t think we are going to go back. My reason for saying that was that, Julia you know in 2014 I became president of Women in Banking and Finance. During my tenure, the three year tenure of being president of Women in Banking and Finance, I had to make a number of changes to the organisation, there was a lot of cynicism at the time about, do we need Women in Banking and Finance as a movement. It caters to every single cohort in the organisation, in terms of young women coming into the industry, managers in mid track and senior leaders. We would welcome their help in being mentors and sponsors to the younger women.

When I was changing the organisation and thinking about what should be the core messages or the key drivers for this organisation, one of the things that I’d begun to see much more clearly even back then in 2014 – which was six years ago, doesn’t sound that long – but it really struck me as being something really different was that the younger women coming through, and that’s how we called them, the millennials, they had a really different attitude about whether they would walk the same path as women like myself. And they were very clear, they were very clear that they would not walk the same path, they would do things differently. I also sense great impatience for them. Now six years on these women are firmly in organisations. And then I’m not saying that women like myself are shy, or not wanting to come up, but we have a different approach. But these young women are coming through the organisation and those coming behind them are even more vocal. They’re very clear that they’re not going to go backwards, come what may, there’s no going back.

We’ve seen things happen like the various movements like the Me Too movement and so on, we’ve seen those movements come very much to the forefront. I saw that, and that was very sharp of Women in Banking and Finance the point that I had to set up a millennials group, so that those women could come into Women in Banking and Finance and shape their ideas. So that’s one thing that I would say. Coming to the Hampton Alexander review, I do think that the progress that the industry has made towards greater female representation at board level has to be applauded. Because I remember when the review started, I’ve been in the industry quite some time and I remember those reviews, the dialogue, and so on, and the numbers that we would throw at this can take us 100 years, is that we’ll never get there.

And things have been really in the speed of speech. The time has been shortened. And I think that has to be applauded. But we’re not done yet. If you look at the FTSE 350, you have 57 companies who have either met or exceeded 33% target, but what about the others? So there’s still work to be done there, and also, the great focus I think in particular for now, and it is for the future, was what about the executive pipeline. There’s a lot of talk, and in some respects criticism, about how we’re focused on the top, but if you don’t build the pipeline, how can gender balance throughout an organisation be sustainable for the long-term?

For me, I think that the focus is great, the work that we’ve achieved at board level and that should not stop, and that should continue, and that should grow and strengthen. But I think at the same time, we need different strands of focus of different objectives. There must be even greater focus on making sure that the success that we’ve achieved so far is sustained in health and improved upon. Those are the things I’ve seen, but I do think that the millennials, to me, they’re the ones to watch.

Julia: Definitely. I think this point about the pipeline is incredibly important and something very practical for organisations and listeners to take away in terms of, if you have to focus on one thing at the moment. However, and actually Janet, you were talking earlier about your international work and Ann when I was reading your biography earlier, I was talking about your experience of working across 200 different countries with MasterCard as well. Ann I’d love to hear your thoughts about, we’ve talked very much with a UK lens, or UK focus in the conversation so far, but I know you’re thinking about diversity and inclusion internationally, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on where we must focus.

Ann: First of all, just to carry on where Janet was in terms of things like the 30% Club. 30% Club’s now in over 14 countries. The last country we launched was Japan and we’re busy working on Mexico and China right now because I would like to expand that across the G20 countries. What we see when we look around the world is a very mixed bag. If you look across at Australia, they are rather like Britain, they’ve achieved that 30% membership through the number of women on board, and actually the 30% Club has a similar target for women on the ExCo. So we are thinking about women coming up the ladder and companies in the corporate world.

But then when you look at somewhere like Japan, that was about 4% a few years ago, it’s moved to 10%, which is actually quite a change for them. Hong Kong is below 14%, and even in America we’re just below the 30% level. So there’s so much to do and of course, when you get to the GCC countries it becomes very difficult to measure – you’re talking single percentage points, low single percentage points, and also about 8% in Brazil. What we’re seeing around the world is women are still not taking their place economically. There’s no question about it. But to go to Janet’s point about millennials, a lot of research has been published lately, mainly by companies like McKinsey that have looked at where do women start dropping off the corporate ladder.

It actually turns out to be the first step, the first step into management if you like. There started to be an acceleration of men and a dropping off of women. And it can be for all sorts of reasons but as soon as you’re there, then that pipeline is starting to narrow. You might be a company that’s bringing in 50/50 male and female from university. And it might actually be more of a skewed ratio because in many parts of the world, women are graduating more than men. In Britain that’s happening. But what happens when the women reach that 30-ish age group and they’re going on to actually manage, that’s when it starts to drop off. In so many companies that’s the case. So we really do need to focus there and say, how do we move the needle on that? And how do we change people’s minds?

But I do think going back to the 30% Club, we are working with the B20, which advises the G20, and that’s happening in Saudi Arabia this year and we’re a knowledge partner. We’re talking about things that we want removed from a law perspective, laws that prohibit women working in different industry sectors, laws that stop women owning property, and therefore having collateral to start their own businesses. There’s things that have to happen on the legal front, as well as putting in targets for having 30% and more women in senior positions and on boards. The reason I say more is, people keep saying to me, “Heck Ann, why isn’t it 50%?” And I say, “As far as I’m concerned, that’s what we should go for.” But the point is about the 30%, it’s a minimum threshold that we’ve set, and once you have more than 30% of any minority in the room, then they cease to be a minority. I’m sure that Janet will probably bring up a deeper point on minorities in the discussion soon.

Julia: Well, let’s turn straight to that really, which is then thinking about some of the ethnic minority representation questions. Janet, can I bring you straight in there? For your thoughts on that.

Janet: Yes. I mean, it’s very interesting. The point that Ann makes about the recent studies showing where women drop off in terms of that point in that career, because I see that fall-off happening a lot earlier. It’s something that Julia, you and I have spoken about over the years and I’ve spoken to Ann about it recently. While I was president of Women in Banking and Finance we did some soft surveys. We have the advantage of seeing young black women coming into the industry, and we were able to track them and find out the support that they needed. Also at the time, in 2014, I was a trustee of the Powerlist Foundation which is a foundation that gives support to young black men and women in university to prepare them for the world of work. You get the sponsorship, you get the mentorship, and so on.

A large number of those individuals who pass through the Powerlist Foundation, a good number of them would go into financial services. I can honestly say by the time I had finished as President of Women in Banking and Finance, I think the young women in particular, young black women that I met when I became president, when I stepped down as president I only knew that one was left in banking. But the 40 that I knew, they had all gone. I see that all the time, I’m now busy working for Infinity Capital, so I’ve not spent enough time researching it over the last few years. As you know last year I was working in India as a CEO of a tech company, and I’ve just come back. I’ve been in the UK less than 12 months. But I think it’s worrying, I think it is deeply concerning that the attrition rate is so, not only is it so early, but it’s so deep.

Julia: Can I ask why you think that is? One thought that immediately comes to my mind is role models. Do you see enough people in the industry that people could aspire to be? Because as we know, from the hundreds of conversations with leaders on the podcast series, if you could see it, you can be it. Is that one of the reasons? I’d love to hear your thoughts about why.

Janet: Well, I think it is, because financial services is very, very broad. You have banks, you have asset management companies, you have the payment companies, you have the data companies, it’s very, very broad. But if you look at each of those big sectors, and you look into the guts of those organisation, I think representation across the board is actually very, very low. In some sectors it’s almost non-existent. It’s very difficult, I think if you’re coming in, I mean, when I entered into banking that wasn’t my mindset in terms of looking for a role model. But times have changed. I think the young coming in are much more strategic in their viewpoints, they’re looking and they’re saying, “If there’s someone at the top, then I know I have a good chance of making it in this industry.”

But if there’s no one at the top, it sends a clear signal that something is not quite right because we’re in multicultural Britain. Why wouldn’t you have diversity. I mean, in London, when you walk around, there’s diversity everywhere, everywhere. So why is it that the workplace doesn’t reflect society at all. I think it gives that sharp message. And then also, if you’re in the workplace and you need support, who do you reach out to for that level of support? I think some things are very obvious and some things are much more complex. I think the first most important thing is that the industry gives the message out to those coming into the industry as to whether or not they will achieve their full potential.

Julia: Ann Can I bring you in there to respond with your thoughts? I mean, clearly from the work you’ve done with the 30% Club, you talked earlier about policy or the various levels that can be engaged in terms of policy and then also setting targets as well. I wonder if there are some tactics that have been used in the gender conversation that we can certainly employ in terms of ensuring that there’s greater ethnic minority representation?

Ann: Absolutely. I think there’s a number of things that companies can do. If I think about the situation that we’re in now, many companies are only really recruiting for key roles. They’re probably not recruiting even the big industries, thousands of roles right now, they’re probably putting people on furlough, and maybe restructuring their companies. I think during this time, it’s very important for hiring managers to look at the job that they’re trying to hire for and really pay attention to, have you actually created a diverse slate of candidates? How does this balance out the team that you have in place? How do you put an interview panel in place that actually has a diverse representation so that they can ask a whole range of different questions? And to the point that Janet was making, have somebody that is a role model that would actually encourage people to join your company. If they’re really bright people with diverse backgrounds. I think you can do that on the hiring side. I think you can look at your attrition and say, “why are people leaving this company?” Because often it’s about fixing the culture of the company. Let’s not be fixing the women or fixing the minorities, they don’t need fixing. It’s actually the culture that we have to change. And then there’s also, well, just a minute, you’re putting people on furlough, and you’re restructuring your company, are you doing this fairly? Have you looked at the data in your hands and said, I’m not actually letting people from minority groups go, for example. What does my data look like?

I think we live in the data age. We consume data and we’ve got artificial intelligence algorithms that can help us consume data and get fabulous insights. We should be using them combined with human common sense and cultural values, to actually push the needle forward. There’s never been a better time to do it. If we don’t do it now, we could come out of this pandemic and not have changed. This is a point in our lives when we have the time to actually almost pause and reset and say, “remote working works, I want a more diverse workforce because actually we know that companies perform better. Am I actually attracting the best and brightest to my business and am I keeping them? And if not, why not?” Let’s really have these questions asked and answered.

Julia: And I think that’s a great moment just to pause the conversation for a second, where we turn to Cynthia for any research to support today’s discussion.

Cynthia: In the 2020 report, Women in the Workforce – UK: Quick Take, women account for 40% or more of the total labour force globally. Women spend more time performing unpaid work such as childcare,  and unpaid caregiving responsibilities can prevent paid employment opportunities. This work disproportionately falls to women. Globally only 1.5% of men provide unpaid care on a full-time basis compared to 21.7% of women.

The future of work may bring new opportunities for women as they already have the job skills to position them for roles in high growth fields of the future, but are over represented in the industries most likely to be affected by automation. By 2030, an estimated 40 – 160 million women may need to transition into higher skilled roles requiring higher education or upskilling. Women are currently underrepresented in high skilled subjects like STEM. Globally women make up 35% of STEM students and only 22% of professionals in the field of artificial intelligence.

Julia: Thanks, Cynthia. The links to the research can be found on our website, divercitypodcast.com. That’s where you can find all our episodes and sign up for early notifications of future recordings. Please do follow us on Twitter @divercitypod, and DiverCity Podcast is available on BrightTALK and all good podcast channels. We’d love a rating because it all helps to promote the show.

Just before we went to the research break, as I like to call it, we were talking about how we’re in this state of change, an accelerated state of change, heightened awareness, if you like, about how organisations have had to reframe as well. I’d really like to get your thoughts about, again, very practical things that listeners can take today, paying particular attention to change.

Janet: Yes, picking up from where Ann left off about this time being an opportunity to really take a step back to look at, from a first perspective, what their policies are, good practise, what they’re doing to increase not only gender diversity, but ethnicity diversity. There are a number of really great recruitment firms who can really help to accelerate a firm’s efforts and bring forward very talented candidates, so they can have a much more diverse candidate slate.

I would urge firms to encourage their HR departments to really make it a good focus on connecting with these firms because they’re out there and they’ve done great work. I think that starts the process, and it’s to say that if you don’t have diverse candidates, then questions should be asked, challenges should be raised to encourage HR and hiring managers should make sure they bring different candidates to the table.

Julia: It’s incredibly important to hold that to account particularly right now, as these hires, any hires that are coming in are really, really well thought through and the diversity conversations held front of mind to find the right partners to help you do that.

Janet: Absolutely. And some firms are doing it really well. Some firms do it brilliantly. So there is good practise out there. And I think we can learn from each other. What I didn’t say earlier on was that I’m part of a group called Baron and it’s an HR group and we did talk about good practise within the workplace, and so there are organisations for firms to connect to, to find out what others are doing and how successful those policies are.

Julia: I’ve always believed, obviously in my business, I’ve always believed that would ultimately give you a competitive edge, and of course, now as we’re looking ahead arguably some people would say we’re about to go into a period of a very difficult economic climate. My general sort of frame of mind is when we do, this is potentially rife with opportunity. Ann I’d love your final thoughts as we wrap up the show on reasons to be optimistic as you travel the world and you talk to many, many different people.

Ann: First of all, culture definitely trumps strategy and those firms doing the right thing are the ones to watch. But I would say, when I was in Davos earlier this year, the World Economic Forum came out and said, it’s going to be 257 years now until we have women’s equality around the world. Everybody threw their hands up in horror. Now we’re in the middle of a pandemic which is accelerating everything, and I think these two things joined together mean that so many people around the world, companies, governments have realised that this is complete nonsense.

We cannot be doing this with half the human race. We have to make everyone economically viable in the future and be able to add value to the planet, because guess what? You mentioned climate, climate change is the next big thing, and we’re going to need the best and the brightest and everyone engaged in solving that. What I see is a great desire to change the world. I actually was in Colombia a few months ago and I met the president there and he said to me, “I want to open the 30% Club here.” And I thought, it’s so great to hear presidents of countries say this, because they realise that equality is an important thing in their economy. I think that all good business leaders realise that around the world, and it’s a question of making that culture change, making it fast, and making it last. Thank you.

Julia: What a wonderful way to end the show. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for you both to have taken the time out, particularly in these extraordinary times. I think we’ve covered an enormous amount in a relatively short period of time; we’ve looked at what’s been happening close to home, we’ve been thinking about international dynamics. We’re also very, very practical and very focused in terms of things that organisations could do tomorrow. Actually don’t wait till tomorrow, do it today. Ann and Janet, it’s been fantastic having you on the show. Thank you both very much indeed.

Kieron: This episode of the DiverCity Podcast was produced by me, Kieron Yates, on behalf of Julia Streets Productions. Thanks to Cynthia Akinsanya for her insights. You can find out more about the guests on this week’s show on our website, divercitypodcast.com. Whilst you are there, you can also sign up to our newsletter for all our latest updates.

To be sure of catching all our future podcasts, subscribe to our feed on iTunes, or your favourite podcast app. And, if you’ve enjoyed this episode of DiverCity Podcast, remember to give us a rating or review. This all helps promote the show to a wider audience. Finally, our Twitter handle is @divercitypod. Thanks for listening.