Listening, Learning and Calling it Out
Leading woman Carol Andrews of BNY Mellon and the 30% Club Lead in Ireland, is the guest in this episode of the Women In Leadership podcast and she is a leading light when it comes to advancing diversity and inclusion. As well as being a savvy business person, she is an unrelenting advocate for women in business and particularly in financial services. “It makes better business sense to have a gender diverse team.”
Carol Andrews believes that business has so much to gain from heeding the diversity agenda and putting the theory into practice, respecting the diversity of people and their ways of doing business in different parts of the world and their different approaches. She should know because she heads up the Alternative Investment services in Europe for BNY Mellon. “Diversity is huge not just gender, so its really important that we take that much broader lens when we are looking at our customer base.” This will become even more important in the future she thinks.
“In BNY Mellon what is really important at the moment is diversity of thought, when we are all in a room together. We are going through a digital revolution at the moment, we are looking at different platforms, different technology and making sure that we have different ages, different cultures, different nationalities together in the room trying to look at the future, because the jobs we have now, won’t be the jobs in the future, so it’s really around helping each other think slightly differently. I might have been in the firm a long time, I might have some views around one thing, a new person may have a different view so that’s really hugely impactful in terms of building out the future.”
Carol Andrews believes that businesses and financial institutions need to pay close attention to cultural differences too.
“You certainly see from a wealth perspective, there’s a different culture around how you would approach your customer, there’s a different culture in terms of how you might sit in a room , there’s a different culture to how you might discuss things with them, that is hugely impactful when you think that you actually learn from all of that, and how, if you respect all that, you can really bring huge value to your customer.”
In Ireland the 30% Club has been hugely impactful she believes. “We now have 180 Chairs and CEOs as supporters and remember that is from the top. So these are the top companies in Ireland who are supporting the 30% Club in our view, that it makes better business sense to have a gender diverse management team.”
It is not always easy taking the lead and challenging bias and ‘the way things have always been done’. Carol however is a fearless advocate and action focussed.
“It’s about being brave and calling it out and not being afraid to say how you feel.”
Among her top pieces of advice both in terms of career and in life is to develop your listening skills. “You learn so much more when you listen.”
Another piece of advice is to invest in your education on an ongoing basis.
“Learn, its the passport to the future.”
Making The Change Count a recent study of women in financial services in Ireland is available to read on the 30% Club Ireland’s website at the link below. The infographics are great and very accessible. It is by Andrea Dermody, Niamh McLoughlin, Anne-Marie Taylor and Richard Kinsella of the Financial Services Sub Committee.