I am the first generation of my African-Indian family to be born in the UK. Having grown up in Essex, my childhood was spent supporting my working-class parents in their local shop, providing care to my hearing-impaired mother, and attending a state school where I was one of 4 students from an ethnic minority. Going to university in London, at LSE, opened my eyes – I met people from all backgrounds, had access to a new set of possibilities and the world as I knew it became bigger.
Having spent the last 15 years of my career in Asset Management, first as a Management Consultant working with c15 Investment firms and their leadership teams, and then becoming the Asset Management COO at a FTSE100 Insurer at 35, I have increasingly become more alert to the challenges and opportunities that come with diversity, particularly gender and socio-economic diversity in our industry. I have seen and felt what fosters inclusion and what doesn’t, and the direct relationship with business performance as a result.
I feel passionately about enabling a more level playing field in the Investment and Savings industry, and to do that, I recognise unrepresented individuals need enhanced support throughout their careers. I personally have deeply benefitted from teams, mentors and clients who have accepted me for who I am, and I try to do the same for everyone I work with. The times I haven’t had that support have been the most difficult of my career. It’s why I am so pleased to be supporting the Diversity project as an Ambassador, and I look forward to both providing further mentorship, particularly to early careers, and continuing my own learning!