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Series Three, Episode Two: Global institutional inclusivity and female FinTech representation

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, and Geoffrey Williams, Director/Head of Diversity & Inclusion EMEA at Thomson Reuters, discuss Innovate Finance’s Diversity initiative, how the FinTech sector can attract more female talent, creating more inclusive organisations, attracting talent from all walks of life, the importance of real-time feedback, managing change, the need for more role models, the importance of speaking to young children about their career options, and how men are driving organisations to incorporate flexible working.

Note: This episode was recorded before the recent announcement of the acquisition of Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk (F&R) business.​

Charlotte Crosswell

Charlotte Crosswell is CEO of Innovate Finance. She has spent most of her financial services career in market infrastructure roles. Most recently she was CEO at Nasdaq NLX (“NLX”), a London-based startup derivatives market, and sat on the board of LCH Ltd. She has held a number of management positions at Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange across international capital markets, equities, fixed income, OTC derivatives trading and clearing. In addition to her work with Innovate Finance, Charlotte advises and sits on the boards of technology and FinTech startups. Charlotte holds a BA (Hons.) in French from the Southampton University. She has been included in the list of top 100 Women in Finance over many years.

You can follow Charlotte on Twitter @ccrosswell.

Geoffrey Williams

Geoffrey Williams a native west Londoner is a graduate of the BRIT school for performing arts and technology (equivalent to NYC LaGuardia Fame School), which boasts musical success with Adele, Amy Winehouse, Marsha Ambrosius & Geoffrey obviously :-). He studied Media Studies and Performing Arts with the focus of working within the entertainment industry.

After leaving the BRITS he completed a BA Hons business degree at Buckinghamshire University and went on to work in the Entertainment industry as an Artist & Events manager, where he worked with Singers/Producers/Songwriters and DJ’s working with the likes of Terri Walker, Daniel Debourg, Vikter Duplaix & T.Williams to name a few. As well as producing plays such as Scratched Out the Urban musical that had a sold out run at the Oval house Theater and Riverside Studio his experience in this sector was varied and he honed a lot of the skills he uses today to engage and inspire others.

After a number of successful years in the entertainment industry Geoffrey wanted a new challenge and set his sights on the corporate world.

In 2008 he joined the Thomson Reuters business in what was the Intellectual Property & Science business and has moved around the Thomson Reuters organisations in many roles Learning & Development/ Talent/ Organisational Design, space. In 2013 Geoffrey Joined the Diversity & Inclusion team building a brand for himself as a thought leader in this space been nominated for an Excellence in Diversity award two years in a row as well as leading Thomson Reuters to be awarded the accreditation of the National Equality Standard after a thorough audit of the D&I practices by EY.

In his spare time he likes to write and his first published short story is available via Angelica Publishing released in October 2014. His writing is fictionalised experiences and tales he has heard throughout the years. He aims to spark debate and education by giving a voice to underrepresented groups, through this medium as well as in the work he does as a D&I leader . Geoffrey is also the co-founder of one umbrella productions a TV and film production company that again using the platform to tell diverse stories.

In 2014 Geoffrey co-founded Rocking Ur Teens ( a company whose vision is to connect teens for a positive and vibrant future. By connecting them to real business role models, as well as people who are transforming the world they live and work in for the better. The hope is to create a movement of young people who are inspired to be authentic, confident and individuals that lead the world to a brighter future.

You can follow Geoffrey on Twitter @GWEntertainment.

Series Three, Episode Two Transcript

Julia: Hello, my name is Julia Streets and welcome to DiverCity Podcast, talking about diversity and inclusion 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 drive change. Today I’m joined by Charlotte Crosswell of Innovate Finance and Geoffrey Williams from Thomson Reuters.

Charlotte Crosswell is the CEO of Innovate Finance, the independent not-for-profit membership association representing the UK’s FinTech industry. She has spent most of her financial services career in market infrastructure roles. Most recently, as CEO of NASDAQ NLX, a London based startup derivatives market and on the board of LCH Limited. She has held a number of management positions at NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange, and sits on the board of technology in FinTech startups. It is no surprise that Charlotte’s been lauded for her work, and has been included in a list of top 100 women in finance for many years. Charlotte, welcome to the show.

Charlotte: Thank you, Julia.

Julia: Geoffrey Williams joined Thomson Reuters in 2008 in the Intellectual Property and Science business, and has moved around the organisation in many roles including learning and development and talent. In 2013 Geoffrey joined the diversity and inclusion team and led Thomson Reuters to be awarded the accreditation of the National Equality Standard supported by an external audit of the firm’s D&I practices. He is the co-founder of Rocking Ur Teens, a company seeking to connect teens to real life business role models. And he is also the co-founder of One Umbrella Productions, a TV and film production company committed to telling stories about the value of diversity. Geoffrey, welcome to the show.

Geoffrey: Thank you for having me, Julia.

Julia: And at the top of each episode, as always, we invite our guests to take one minute to talk about what they’re working on. Charlotte, let me turn to you. What are you focused on at the moment?

Charlotte: So I joined Innovate Finance nearly a year ago now and have been amazed at the strength of the FinTech industry in the UK and how much it’s evolving financial services and how much it’s bringing competition. On our diversity program we do significant amounts to try and promote women in FinTech. What’s been a little bit surprising, we’ll talk about this later, is just how few women there are in FinTech. So this is something that obviously is one of the things at the top of my agenda is yes, we want competition in financial services, but let’s make sure that we are also tapping into the absolutely amazing talent we see from some of the female founders out there.

Julia: Geoffrey.

Geoffrey: For me personally, I’m very much focused on inclusion at Thomson Reuters. So we understand what diversity is and we’re looking at how we can bring diverse people into our organisation. The main thing that I’m working on is how we make sure they feel included, connected to the business, but also connected to where we want to go with our customers and our clients to make sure that what we’re delivering is the right thing for those individuals that we’re supporting. So very much have a focus on inclusion, the conversations that we can have around mental wellbeing, around being your true self in the working environment, what does that look like. But also then how do we work with each other respectfully in a way that is driving the business agenda. So I think the core thing for us at Thomson Reuters is making sure that it’s not that warm fuzzy feeling of diversity and inclusion, but also it’s about how we really intrinsically work with our customers and grow our business.

Julia: Great. Thank you very much for that. So let’s start, Charlotte, so you’ve held high office at one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, now CEO of the most influential financial bodies, the voice of FinTech if you like. Skills and talent clearly are very high up on your agenda, and something we talk about on the podcast a lot is how diversity and inclusion proven time and again to be a key contributor to performance and to success. Are we changing fast enough to maintain the dominant position? Bear in mind we’ve got Brexit and everything else happening in the background. Are we moving fast enough?

Charlotte: I think we’ve made significant progress in having being, what I don’t really like to call myself but, a veteran of financial services before I made the move to the light side of FinTech. I imagined, I think like many people would imagine, that in the startup culture of FinTech you would see amazing diversity, whether that’s female diversity, or that’s BAME diversity. What has been slightly shocking to me, is that it’s actually worse than financial services. This is something we desperately need to address, to make sure that we don’t have the same mistakes maybe that we can say we’ve made in financial services.

Now, why is that? The slightly cynical view is that people who wanted to go into FinTech, generally had reached the pinnacle of their careers within financial services. Even more cynical, maybe they’ve made their money so they could risk doing a startup. Generally people who’ve made that transition up to ExCo level, and within a financial services firm, had then obviously become more male than female.

So what’s happened is we’ve seen those men come across and start their FinTech companies. The statistics are quite shocking – only 17% of FinTech founders are women. So, I think we would have expected to see that number change. Obviously what FinTech can do is potentially offer that slightly better cultural change, the work-life balance that you could say is more appealing to women. I really do think that there’s an opportunity now for us to drive that diversity through and sit there and say, “How can we make this more attractive?” There are a lot of misperceptions that you have to be a coding or computer science graduate, like any founder, founders can come from many different backgrounds, it doesn’t just have to be obviously from those really technical aspects where we have seen less women graduate. But let’s push this out, let’s make sure we have FinTech founders coming from the female side, coming from more diverse backgrounds, and building those companies up, so we can make this the pinnacle of success, rather than following the mistakes, potentially, of financial services.

Julia: So if there’re one or two compelling events or dynamics that were to change to attract more women into FinTech, what do you think they would be?

Charlotte: I think when we look at startup culture, and let’s move away slightly from FinTech, we’ve got tech or startup culture, we could argue that women are slightly more risk-averse, I think that’s something that most people would recognise, and maybe you’ve been a little more cautious, maybe lack self-confidence and, “Can I be the one who can actually found a company? Do I have the audacity to sit there and go and hire other people? Do I believe in myself?” That’s got to change obviously. I think as we’ve seen some of these amazing FinTech founders, both male and female, people are sitting there looking at that going, “I can do that. And look, this is why I can add value there.” So, I think it is about promoting the amazing female founders out there, but it’s not just the founders it’s the people down at the ExCo level as well, and sitting there saying, “You can do this too.”

We’ve only still got a few women that we’re pointing to, certainly from an investment perspective, we are seeing the unconscious bias against female founders, so that again has to change as well. But, one thing that’s got to change is, let’s get those role models out there. And let’s make sure those role models aren’t people who are sitting there like we saw in financial services, maybe, who have an army of childcare support and families behind them, but people who are like you and I just doing this business day to day, and making a good job of it.

Julia: And, the power of mentoring, we talk a lot about the power of reverse mentoring within larger organisations, like Geoffrey’s for example. Are you seeing the industry step up and help mentor those female founders to help support them in that journey?

Charlotte: We haven’t seen so much mentoring, not as much as I’d like. I think we could definitely look to financial services for some of those mentors, there are some great female people working there, sometimes unrecognised, and sharing their expertise. Like anything, a startup is a lonely journey, whether you’re male or female, and you constantly need to look to have more people guiding you. Sometimes these companies are starting with three or four people. And again, this comes back to that female perspective of, “I haven’t got anyone to ask, I need someone to bounce the ideas off.” And so, when we look to the banks, they are desperately trying to bring through cultural change into their banks, they want to move into FinTech, they want to sit there and become innovators themselves. So, we brought a better job of finding those mentors to go from banks to FinTech, and FinTech back to banks, to show them how you can innovate.

And obviously, this is something that’s going to play really well to the female agenda, but also to male agenda too.

Julia: And, Geoffrey, this is probably the perfect time to come over to you, because you sit on the larger organisation scale, you’re not a bank, clearly Thomson Reuters isn’t, but a large financial institution that has a deep heritage behind you, as well. We talk a lot on the podcast about diversity across it’s wider spectrum, and we talk a lot about ethnic minorities as well. From your perspective, how much easier is it for BAME graduates now, to come into an organisation like yours? Is that something you’re thinking critically about, or do you look at it as the diversity and inclusion spectrum as a whole?

Geoffrey: So, we look at it as the diversity inclusion spectrum as a whole. I think, for us we made a conscious decision that we were going to find organisations that could support us to find diverse talent. So, we partnered with Rare Recruitment, an agency that specialises in diverse talent. The reason why we did that was we understood that we were finding our organisation as a whole, as a brand, people know who we are, we are kind of a second job organisation, second to third job. People come here after they feel they’ve gained some experience, they feel that Thomson Reuters then could be their next step. As we looked at our graduate programs and how we could strengthen them, we wanted to make sure that we were having a good representation of talent from all walks of life.

So, we made sure that we went out into the market and we found different people to partner with. So, Rare was one of the organisations, we bonded with a few other people that specialised in disability, and it is really about making sure that the grads that we have coming into our organisation were from all walks of life.

I think there was a lot of conversation about that, we had to make sure that we communicated that to the business and got them to understand why we wanted to be able to make those changes in our recruitment pipeline. What do our customers currently look like? So, it’s a decision of us going more into diverse markets. So, looking at Asia, looking at Africa, and really making sure that we actually had people that represented those communities across the whole organisation.

To do that for our grad population we felt that Rare would be able to support us, and we saw a shift. We saw a 40% change in the people coming into our organisation from a grad standpoint, and it really was also helping the organisation to see that the talent actually existed. A lot of time, when you talk about BAME talent, or actually talent that is diverse overall, you hear the conversation of, “They don’t exist.” Which is not necessarily the truth, it’s that they’re not choosing you as a place to go and work for because your brand, your story that you’re telling, they can’t see themselves.

So, I think the work that we did was definitely about making sure that people could see our colleagues that were diverse in the wider market, but also they could see themselves coming to work for us as an organisation. I think there is still a little work to do around attracting BAME graduates, but I think for us as a business we’re on that journey and we’re committed to making those necessary changes and/or having those difficult conversations to adjust some of the things we need to do internally.

Julia: And one of the things that we talk about a lot and we’ve had other guests talk about as well, is the organisational fit. And it’s interesting you talk about bringing the talent through, so 40% are coming in. Do you have any numbers around how they’re staying with the organisation, how you’re leading them through the ascension into management positions, as well?

Geoffrey: So, yes, we do have some data around that and we actually have a few programs that we’ve put in place to support that talent, to understand how they, not necessarily show up at work, but how they bring their full selves to the organisation. So, I think as we started to unpick the conversation of race, at Thomson Reuters there was the barrier of sometimes line managers not feeling like they want to give real time feedback, so someone would get feedback at the end of the year for something that they did in March or at the start of the year, which they’re then not able to adjust or change for.

It was because the manager thought if they spoke up or was overly aggressive to the individual in saying, “you did something wrong and I wasn’t happy”, the individual may feel that there’s a level of racism going on, or bias. But, actually when we spoke to the employees that might be on the receiving end of that conversation, they really wanted to have that real time feedback so they can make the necessary changes that they wanted to do in their day-to-day work.

I think there’s that kind of stuff that needs to happen in organisations; real conversations around what is difference, how does that show up in the work place? How do you manage that if you’re line managing someone from diverse communities? But then also, what do we wanna look like in the future? And really driving that forward.

Julia: When we come back to the early stage businesses as well, the culture and attracting talent really matters. If you’re a relatively small organisation, of course real time feedback is a minute by minute reality, because you’ve got to work so quickly and in such a dynamic fashion. Looking at the context of digital talent, where we are now and what we’re going to need, particularly in financial services and we think a lot about clearly, data, data scientists, we think about cyber. There has been some concern voiced about not having the talent we need tomorrow. Charlotte, in your context of thinking about the industry as a whole, are there particular things we could be doing to attract that talent? Does that talent want to work in financial services if it could go somewhere much ‘sexier’?

Charlotte: I’d like to think FinTech is quite sexy! Let’s again, bring this back to the diversity topic here – 19% of the digital tech workforce is female – 19%. It’s not enough. So if we look at skills and talent squeeze, which is something I talk about constantly, and we’re constantly badgering government to get more of those Tier 2 VISAs approved so we can bring that talent in, because it isn’t here. But, we have to sit there and say, “Well, surely, we can also look from within. Why are we not retraining? Why are we not promoting this to young girls at school, to young women out of university? Why can we not sit there and teach people to code? How many 40 somethings are bored of their jobs and sit there, but are still very bright people?” Instead of retaining them in the workforce in financial services, they leave to do something completely different, instead of sitting there saying, “Look, there is another option here.” Go and retrain digital.

So, yes, obviously we are looking to outside our borders. Over 40% of people working in UK FinTech are from overseas – 28% out of the EU, and 14% from elsewhere.

So, we already attract a huge amount from overseas, but constantly people are sitting there saying, “I have a skills and talent gap.” This is a global problem, it’s not just a UK problem. But, I then come back and, this is with my female hat on, sitting there and saying, “But, if only 19% of people working are female, then at least let’s start there.” We can imagine that 31%, in theory, of people we should be going after.

15% of computing graduates last year were women. 15%. That was down from 16% the year before. So this is not going the right direction. We are not inspiring people at an early stage, even when you go into primary schools now, you can see the boys go off and do coding and computer science, the girls encouraged to do drama and dance. How can we possibly sit there and have a nation that’s digitally enabled, and we’re already lacking the talent as it is, but if we’re not inspiring those people and those young girls to sit there at 3, 4, 5 years old, to sit there and look at those sciences and see there’s an important piece, we’re going to continue to have the skills and talent gap and we are missing out a huge part of the population here.

Geoffrey: No, I definitely agree. I think one of the things that we’ve been fortunate to do as a business, is we’ve run coding dojos. We did a global footprint over two days, where we started in the UK and went around the world hosting coded dojos, inviting only girls in to learn about coding, and learning about what a role in tech would mean for them. I think that’s something that’s definitely key that we need to do as a society, but also in big business, because I think there’s a level of people not understanding what we do today and how their various skills can align with what we do today. I think everyone looks at, “Oh, it’s a big organisation, I have to wear a suit, I have to wear a nice dress, and I’m going to go and sit at a desk” and that’s kind of where the story ends. One of the things that I’m fortunate to be a part of, which is Rocking Ur Teens, is we do look at how young people can understand what the world of work is like, and we have two different ways of communicating with them, to make sure that they understand that there are opportunities that they’re not aware of.

So, I think for every child that’s born right now, the roles that they may be doing in the next 20 years don’t even exist. So for that fact, you have to keep reminding people that just because you studied maths or because you studied drama doesn’t mean that you need to go down a set route. You can diversify, you can have a career portfolio, I think they call it now, and really make sure that you utilise your interpersonal skills to get you where you need to go, and then also all the things that you’ll acquire along your journey. So I started off in drama, so I wasn’t necessarily the most computer-savvy, but then I got a job and I learnt how to use a computer, and I think those are the things that people need to remind themselves about, and tell their children and encourage their children to diversify and do other skills.

Julia: And, I think it’s really into this point about telling the children, one thing I would love every listener on this podcast to do is share this content, and actually, this episode, with some children and girls coming through school, particularly, but not just on the gender side. We’ve had the CEO, or we will be having on this series, the CEO of Code First Girls and they’ve got this ambition to teach 20 thousand girls to code by 2020, and supporting all of those initiatives to get right the way down to grassroots for that reason as well.

So, I think this is a really good moment to turn to Cynthia and Robert for some research to support the discussion.

Cynthia: In 2017, the Center for American Entrepreneurship published a study on the founders of Fortune 500 businesses. 43% of the companies on the list were founded or co-founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant and that number rose to 57% within the top 35 companies.

Robert: A Recruitment International article cited that in 2016, only one in six school leavers that started a degree in computer science was female. In the same year, the total number of girls taking either ICT or computer science at GCSE level fell by 12%. Based on these figures, much more can be done to encourage women to enter the tech industry.

Cynthia: The Wise Campaign Report, Core STEM Graduates 2017, provides us with fresh figures on women studying at graduate level. The number of women graduating in core STEM subjects has grown from just over 22 thousand in 2015/16 to 22340 in 2016/17. However, as the number of men graduating in these subject areas has grown more rapidly, the percentage of female graduates has dropped from 25% to 24%.

Robert: A 2017 FinTech census carried out by EY and Industry Body Innovate Finance shows that FinTech is currently a male dominated industry. On average, 70% of staff of the 245 FinTech businesses surveyed were male, despite the fact that females make up 47% of the UK workforce. Again, it seems that there is much to be done to create gender balance in the industry.

Julia: Thank you Cynthia and Roberts and links to the references and research could be found on our website, You can also sign up for early notifications of future episodes and please do follow us on Twitter @divercitypod, and you can find us on all good podcast channels. If you’ve enjoyed the show, we’d really appreciate your rating, it all helps promote the episodes.

So, clearly, culture plays a huge part in this and the reality of course is that most organisations are arguably male-dominated. So, what has to change in order to drive greater diversity?

Charlotte: What we’re seeing Julia, more recently, is actually the men are calling for change as well. They’re fed up with sitting there being in the office 16 to 18 hours a day, not seeing their children Monday through Friday, traveling every single week. They want to be part of their family life. This is something that I think they’ve always wanted, but they’ve always been slightly afraid of speaking out about. We are now seeing organisations very much cater to that, to try and bring that cultural change, to try and change that dominance of, “I must be seen in the office.” We now have technology that allows agile working, and there are firms out there who are mandating their staff to work one day a week from home. That’s amazing, to give that opportunity there, and that’s not sitting there and women thinking, “If only I could do that, but I’m too afraid to be seen to be standing out as a working mother.” You’re actually seeing the men wanting to do it, they’re talking about, and companies realise that’s a really great way of retaining great talent.

Julia: Is that because people have been offering agile working and hot desking in the past and offering the opportunity to work at home. It’s that because people aren’t taking it?

Charlotte: I think that’s right. Sometimes we’ve seen that it has been offered, but that slight pressure, maybe from an old-fashioned boss who’s sitting there saying, “Of course you can do it, but …” So there’s slight pressure there, or maybe just a self-imposed pressure. If you mandate it and, I’m always against quotas with women, but if you look at countries like Norway who’ve put quotas in, it has changed that for the next generation. I think if we don’t mandate some of this change, you are not going to change it for the next generation, and action is needed now. For my business. in the FinTech Industry, I want single women out there. What a great opportunity, you can go and sit there, pick your kids up, you can work later on. Let’s face it, you don’t need to be in the office nowadays, most people aren’t anyway. We have to sit there and we have to have role models that actually do the juggling, do the work-life balance and actually show that you can have a job within financial services, within FinTech, that actually means you can juggle that family balance. But, it’s not just about the women, it’s the men as well.

Julia: You’re nodding along there, Geoffrey.

Geoffrey: Yes, I am. I think also, that previously we had a lot of men that did work flexibly but didn’t tell anybody. So, you just know that so-and-so was not in the office on a Friday, or wouldn’t be there on a Tuesday, but there was no real dialogue as to why he wasn’t around it was just, “Oh, he’s not here.” I think now, I know for our business, we’re getting those leaders to say, “Actually, I work from home because I want to go and play golf.” Or, “I need to go and pick up my kids.” And, getting them to share those stories because I think that way as well, means that people will then feel like, “Oh, if he does it, I can do it.” And also, we were talking earlier on about the millennials piece, and I think also, they definitely want to work flexibly and they want to make sure that they have good work-life balance.

Now, they are the generation that were sometimes raised by their grandparents because their parents were working so hard to give them the horse-riding lessons, the piano lessons, the ballet lessons, the judo classes. So they were always back-to-back activities with grandma or granddad, and mum and dad were off making the finances. I think they grew up and decided, “Actually, I want to be present to my life and my journey and make sure that I actually get to see the world and get to experience new things.” As organisations look to attract that talent, we have to be mindful that just paying them well is not going to keep them in the organisation, we have to make sure they’re able to have that balance and that level of freedom to live life.

I think that’s the point that we’re heading to now. Everyone wants to live their life and have good experiences and travel, see the world, spend time with their family, get to know their kids in a good way. Sometimes, having to be at your desk nine to five Monday through Friday, does stop that. So, I think companies are looking at that and I know that for us, we have a flexible working culture. From the time I’ve worked in the organisation, we had flexi-time which meant you get a day back every month, and now actually, we moved a bit beyond that and in some of our businesses, everyone gets two days to work from home, as well. I think it’s an evolving landscape and your culture plays a big part of that.

Julia: We talk about quotas and mandating. One of the things that I think has been very interesting to observe over the last couple of years is the number of awards for women in business and the number of lists, et cetera. Charlotte, I turn to you, and you’re smiling because Innovate Finance has led the charge in that, in terms of finding the women in FinTech, that have existed somewhere around the industry, and putting them together in a power list. What are your plans for that this year?

Charlotte: That’s correct, Julia. We saw the opportunity of highlighting some of the women who were talking the talk, walking the walk and getting on with running their businesses every day. But we wanted to bring them together to sit and share their best experiences. That has been an incredibly successful power list we’ve put together, so successful that last year on the power list we had 370 women.

Julia: Did it start with an intention of 100? Was that the original plan?

Charlotte: That is correct, yeah. So now 370 poses a slightly different issue – at what point do we sit there and stop this being the power list, but also wanting to celebrate all these great women working in FinTech. So, we probably will have to bring in some categories of maybe top ten within the verticals, maybe have top ten VCs, if there are top ten female VCs out there.

Julia: If you’re there, we want to hear from you!

Charlotte: We definitely want to hear from you because there are not enough of you … and looking at some of that. But also, continuing this as a program, and we meet more regularly. Women very much enjoy meeting other women within business. It’s amazing the chit-chat you have around that table, and that’s something I’ve always encouraged, even if it’s just for drinks or something casual, we had 40 women meeting up in our Women in FinTech Working Group, to sit there and share experiences, but also to share some action, some amazing ideas coming out of that, that we wouldn’t have thought of. So, we’re leveraging those women to sit them and help that change for the next generation.

We’re going to make that much more regular program, get people around, and Julia, we will be calling on you soon.

Julia: With pleasure, with pleasure. And I’m delighted to be on the list, actually, very honoured to be involved. I think there’s enormous value in the power of positive role-modelling. So thinking about Rocking Ur Teens, do we need more role models?

Geoffrey: Definitely we need more role models. For young people, if they can see it, they can be it and I think one of the things that we’re definitely committed to, within Thomson Reuters, but within Rocking Ur Teens, as a side project that I’m doing, is finding those individuals that are doing different kinds of roles. We’re talking to someone who’s a Creative Innovator, not sure what that means, but he got up and spoke to the young people and explained what his role was and what he did in his working life and that led to them thinking, “Oh, maybe I can go and do that role.” I think there’s also that conversation of, especially for men, what does it mean to be a man in today’s society? So, how do we make sure that you are present for your family, that you are thinking about your career but also thinking about your wife’s career or your partner’s career, and really balancing that in a unique way.

I think we need role models in that respect but also role models from a career standpoint as well.

Julia: And, so are you calling for role models to step up?

Geoffrey: I am calling for role models to step up to make sure that their voice is counted and that they’re actually inspiring those coming behind them as well.

Julia: You heard it here. Wonderful. And, again, a call out to everybody to share the podcast with young children, and particularly girls who think that maybe they can’t get a career in FinTech, that clearly can. And also to those potential role models out there. You’re both incredibly busy people and the fact you’ve taken the time, I think you’re role models in your own rights, so thank you both, Charlotte and Geoffrey.

Geoffrey: Thank you.

Charlotte: Thank you.

Kieron: This episode of DiverCity Podcast was produced by me, Kieron Yates, on behalf of Julia Streets Productions. Thanks to Cynthia Akinsanya and Robert Pinto-Fernandes for their insights.

You can find out more about the guests on this week’s show on our website,

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