What have been the challenges and discoveries of the lockdown What have been the challenges and discoveries of the lockdown period?
The highs have been being able to spend more time with my children. I have an 18-month-old and a 4-year-old. Them being at home all the time of course was tricky whilst my husband and I were trying to work two full-time jobs. But, at the same time, not having to get them to school, or to nursery, or to activities, and with us being at home all the time, has made them seem really happy during this period. That’s been nice for us even though it’s been somehow tiring as well.
What are your hopes and visions for social finance, in light of the pandemic and other recent events?
I think the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the last few months, in addition to the pandemic, has again shone an extra spotlight on existing discrimination and inequalities.
I believe it’s a moment for us all to pause and reflect. I’ve been doing that personally in relation to this and reflecting on my own privilege, which has clearly benefited me in the UK and my career. I have also been thinking about what that means in our line of work, and how to really ensure we have that wider lens and focus on the existing biases which definitely exist – also in the social investment world – you see that in the UK with the lack of diversity.
What does Women in Social Finance mean to you?
I’ve really appreciated WISF’s effort to keep things connected whilst we’ve been in a much more virtual environment. I’ve always found it to be a really supportive, connected group that has enabled me to make connections with new industries and new people as I’ve explored different roles.
I think I’m probably on my fourth job now whilst still being in the WISF network and it’s been useful to me in each of those roles.
I’d definitely say to anyone considering Women in Social Finance: just do it! You won’t know how it’s going to help you at this stage necessarily, although you can probably get an idea of that. It’s given me so many new connections and so many different perspectives as well. So, I would definitely urge anybody to consider joining.
What item or items have helped get you through lockdown?
I’ve chosen the Big Issue Magazine. It completely shifted its business model to move everything online and I understand that their subscription has really grown in this period so they’ve been able to continue helping people off the streets. So I’ve really enjoyed this little slice of peace to myself when I sit and read this each week.