Hands up who launched a podcast back in 2021? It might be easier to ask who didn’t. However, last year we launched a pod with a difference. Its success led us to release a second series, which starts today.
The Financial Changemakers podcast is for anyone interested in learning about diversity and inclusion and in making positive changes. That can be in your personal life, in business, within your management style or company ethos.
We launched series one in order to create a safe place for discussion and ultimately our listeners to become ‘changemakers’. And the reaction was overwhelming – to the extent that we had to delete our LinkedIn accounts! We were amazed at how many people there were who wanted to raise awareness of these issues and make progressive steps with their own lives in how to approach them.
It was clear we needed to come back for more
Long before the first series finished, we knew we were never going to cover everything we wanted to, and that to explore the issues in more depth, we’d need a second run.
In addition, Olivia had transitioned from trainee financial planner with Ascot Lloyd to employment and financial wellbeing coach with Voluntary Norfolk. This gave us a new perspective, and together we developed format and an approach that would widen the conversation outside financial services.
This time we have two guests per episode, which makes for a great format. Topics include privilege and fragility, allyship, body image and social mobility.
The episode on body image for example developed from a previous conversation on race and women and how some of us have to change ourselves to fit the corporate industry.
For example, how might it feel for a black woman to have to tame their hair in order to fit in with western conformity? How does it feel to have to wear clothes that make women look ‘professional’? What does that do for people who are non-confirming, who don’t want to wear those things and who can’t therefore bring their whole selves to the role?
To make a positive change, every business needs to think about their staff, clients and everyone they come into contact with, on a deeper level. It’s easy to acknowledge the problems – there are plenty of statistics out there – but unless people are willing to do something, we’ll always fall short.
For example, one in three children is born into poverty in this country; one in 20 households don’t have a washing machine.
It’s about taking issues like that that exist within financial planning and placing them within the context of the country we live in to give us a real stab at dismantling what’s there and making a change. If we restrict the conversation to social mobility within financial services, we’re not going to make headway. We need to address the UK’s problem of social mobility as well.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
You can see when something’s not right – we all do – but unless you do something about it, you’re not bursting that bubble, you’re still in a place of privilege. We hope that bringing these conversations to life on a deeper level will help to change that. What we say is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Think about the person whose experiencing these issues.
The fact is we’ve all got to take some responsibility to improve the way we live, the way we treat each other, and how that relates to the future of financial advice, the culture of businesses, the experience of those working in them and those coming to us for advice.
Everyone can go into their workplace and stick to the rules, but if you then go to the pub and keep to the same behaviour, you’re just sticking to that policy and perpetuating it.
A wide appeal
It was Anna Soffit who said in the first series that financial services was created by white men, for white men. We therefore didn’t want to have people from the same pool talking about the problem – we needed to take it a step further and break out of that. We interview family members, Liv’s colleagues as well as those from within the profession.
The podcast episodes are structured so that each episode includes some key takeaways for people to either put into practice in their own way, or think about how the issues raised might affect those around them.
It’s not about giving people the answers – it’s about giving the cues. We’ve had some quite tough conversations with people and so there should be plenty to take from. This series is great – it’s like fire!