E25: How to earn more money with Natalie Campbell MBE, Lynn Anderson Clark and Priyal Kanabar

The Pension Confident Podcast

by , PensionBee Content

at PensionBee Content

26 Feb 2024 /  

The faces are the host, Philippa Lamb, and three guests: Natalie Campbell MBE, Lynn Anderson Clark and Priyal Kanabar.

The following is a transcript of our monthly podcast, The Pension Confident Podcast. Listen to episode 25, watch on YouTube or scroll on to read the conversation.

PHILIPPA: Hello, and welcome back to The Pension Confident Podcast. My name is Philippa Lamb, and this month, inspired by International Women’s Day, we’re focusing on a challenge many of us face at work, bridging that gap between our performance and our pay.

Research tells us that for years now, more women than men have been going to university. Women are actually more likely to complete their studies and gain a first class degree. So you’d think that would translate into better career prospects and pay, right? Well, in fact, the same government study shows that just one year after graduation, men are more likely to be in highly skilled employment, with average earnings 9% higher than their female peers. 10 years later, and that earnings gap balloons to a staggering 31%. So why is this happening?

Joining me today, we have three experts to help us navigate this inequality maze and give us the inside track on how to be bold about asking for - and getting - more. Natalie Campbell MBE is an award-winning Social Entrepreneur and Broadcaster. She’s also Chancellor of the University of Westminster and an independent candidate in the 2024 Mayor of London elections. Hello, Natalie.

NATALIE: Hi. Thank you very much for having me.

PHILIPPA: Thanks for sparing the time. It sounds like you’re busy?

NATALIE: I am indeed.

PHILIPPA: Lynn Anderson Clark is CEO and Co-Founder of The Know, an independent media company on a mission to help everyone start their day feeling both informed and hopeful. Hello, Lynn.

LYNN: Hello, very excited to be here.

PHILIPPA: I love that ‘hopeful’ thing.

LYNN: Yes, it’s very important in today’s world.

PHILIPPA: And from PensionBee, here’s Senior Customer Experience Researcher, Priyal Kanabar. Lovely to have you with us again, Priyal.


PHILIPPA: The usual disclaimer before we start, please remember that anything discussed on this podcast should not be regarded as financial advice or legal advice. And when investing your capital is at risk.

Early careers

PHILIPPA: I think I’d like to open up this discussion by asking all of you about your own experience on pay. Lynn, I know you’ve been looking into this. You had some great responses when you asked your followers about this.

LYNN: Yes, so we did a survey yesterday in our newsletter, kind of in preparation for this. I wanted to see, kind of, what other people’s experiences were. I had my own experience, but I wanted to open that up. And so we asked the same question and what we found was 47% of our readers said yes, that they’d been paid less.

PHILIPPA: So they actually knew...

LYNN: And they knew. 33% said they suspected, but they didn’t have any proof, you know what I mean. And 20% said no. So I thought that was a pretty staggering stat. And you had an opportunity to, kind of, tell a story in there, if you wanted to, of your experience. A couple of the responses were, ‘I was his line manager, but we were both employed at the same time. I only found out when I was given payroll to sign off for the first time’.

PHILIPPA: Wow. So her report was earning more than her?

LYNN: Correct. ‘I only found out because it was my husband and the gap wasn’t small, it was around £20K. When I brought it up, during my appraisal, I was told it was unfortunate that I discovered this. I replied that it was unfortunate that there wasn’t more transparency’. And I’m a business owner and I understand why there are reasons people get paid different amounts, but that can’t account for the numbers that we’re seeing.

PHILIPPA: Yeah, absolutely.

LYNN: And so transparency is key in a workplace.

PHILIPPA: Have you personally experienced it?

LYNN: I have. So my first few jobs were [in] finance in New York, and part of that is looking after budgets, and I’m a bit nosy. So part of that is looking after salaries. I mean, that was part of my job. I had to know these numbers.


LYNN: And you better believe I figured out how much people were making in certain jobs and I was being paid less than a male colleague who was actually my best friend, who’s still one of my best friends.

PHILIPPA: What did you do? Or did you not?

LYNN: I didn’t. And I want to say that I’m really proud of the progress we’ve made as a society. But this was in 2000, not to date myself, but 2007 or 2008. And we’ve gotten so much further in the conversations we can have in a workplace, and I want to recognise that. We have a lot of work to still do. But me, who’s up here now as a female entrepreneur, didn’t have that power.

PHILIPPA: Absolutely not.

PHILIPPA: So if we’re thinking about undergraduates job hunting for that first job, it’s a daunting thing, exciting thing, but it’s daunting, you’ve got no experience, obviously. What would you suggest they should be thinking about to max out their chances of doing well?

NATALIE: So firstly, don’t apply for jobs that don’t advertise the salary. And I think we really need to take ownership of this. The more people that don’t apply for jobs where the salary isn’t visible, the more impetus there is on employers to put the salaries on the job description.

PHILIPPA: It’s really common, isn’t it, not to see a salary.

NATALIE: So common. Competitive salary and all of this opaque stuff.

PHILIPPA: Meaningless.

NATALIE: Yeah, if you know what the salary is, or at least the benchmark of the salary, it means you can have a conversation. When you walk in and they say ‘what’s your salary expectation?’, that’s the biggest bear trap. And it’s such a horrid question. If the salary is there, and at Belu the salary that’s advertised is the salary you’ll get. It’s not a negotiable salary. This is the salary. This is the value we perceive for this role...


NATALIE: That’s it. Lots of organisations are getting better, if it’s not a fixed salary, of sharing salary bands. So understanding where you are on the salary band is really important. But I’d also talk to friends. So if you’re brand new to the world of work, ask your friends what they’re seeing from the roles that they’re applying for. And understand ‘what do you think the benchmark is’. And ask your lecturers, ask people so you have the tools to think about what salary makes sense for the job that you’re doing.

PHILIPPA: That’s really helpful. Thinking about all the things that young people are told they need to do, that they need to do internships, they need to do extracurricular stuff to massage their chances of doing well. What’s your sense, all of you, of how much value that actually brings? Because everyone does it, don’t they? So there’s a bit of a question in my mind about how much value it adds. I don’t know, tell me?

NATALIE: So I don’t think everyone does it. I’m old, so I come from a time where I started working before I was even legally allowed to work. I was interning for free, but also, you know, the bus fare I think was 20p, and I had a ‘Saturday job’. The ‘Saturday job’ is dying.

PHILIPPA: Yeah, I had a ‘Saturday job’.

NATALIE: A ‘Saturday job’ just gives you the confidence of knowing how to deal with the workplace. Being a retail girl is a game-changer.

PHILIPPA: Were you in a shop? Yeah, I was in a shop, too. You have to deal with people...

NATALIE: You have to deal with people, you need to know how to communicate. You’re dealing with money, you understand the value and the price of things. So that was great grounding. I’d say if you don’t have a ‘Saturday job’, just get a ‘Saturday job’...

PHILIPPA: Get one!

NATALIE: Get one. Then onto the internship. Internships are really important if you want to understand the nuances of an industry that you’re entering. And when you’re there, don’t go in like ‘the intern’. Go in and be like, ‘right, I’m here, I’m working. I’m doing the same job as X person’ and add that value while you’re there. If you go in as ‘the intern’ and wait to be fed, you won’t get the best experience.

PHILIPPA: I mean, this draws on confidence, doesn’t it? And not everyone has that confidence. So I’m wondering about tools for that, like mentors. Did any of you have early stage mentors? I didn’t.

PRIYAL: I actually currently mentor someone. She’s a recent grad and I really look forward to our monthly catch-ups. I find that I’m able to share my experience, the things that I wish I knew when I was just starting out, that took years of ‘trial and error’ to learn. But I also really enjoy learning from her, she has fresh ideas. I’m now seeing those monthly catch-ups as more of a, kind of, an exchange rather than like a one-way mentorship.

PHILIPPA: And do you talk about money? Does she ask?

PRIYAL: We do, yeah, we do talk about money. Yeah, we talk about, like, benchmarking. A tool that I recommended to her, that I’d recommend to everyone, is on the Otta website. It’s Otta salary benchmarking. What I like about it is it shows the long-term salary growth of various roles.

PHILIPPA: Other experiences in mentoring, did you two have mentors? Natalie? Lynn?

LYNN: I did, but I think it’s really important when we talk about how to get a mentor...


LYNN: I think I’ve had different experiences. When I was working at a big corporation, there were lots of mentoring programmes and I worked on both sides of those, where I’d mentor young people and then I’d also be mentored by senior leadership, which I think is fantastic. But I do think that, what you were talking about, is the exchange and I want to really bring that up, because I think, perhaps a mistake, that people that are looking for mentors make is - I’ve spoken to a class of, let’s say, 200 students at a university, and I’ll get five or six emails after saying, ‘I loved what you were saying, it really resonated’ - which I very much appreciate - ‘will you be my mentor?’. Natalie, you know, you’ve had these emails. And whilst I very much appreciate that and I always, again, I’m so appreciative of the people that have come before me and I always try to give back with anything that I can. It’s about the exchange, and I’d say the better way to approach that would be, ‘I really enjoyed your speech, it really resonated with me, I have a few hours on the weekends and I’d love to help with marketing The Know’, you know what I mean?

PHILIPPA: Oh interesting, OK.

LYNN: Or something like that. And that doesn’t mean I’m going to necessarily take...

PHILIPPA: Exploit them or something?

LYNN: No, exactly! It’s them showing that it’s a two-way relationship.

PHILIPPA: That’s really interesting.

LYNN: It’s about showing that you’re open for a two-way relationship.

PHILIPPA: That you’re bringing something?

LYNN: Rather than ‘will you be my mentor?’.

PHILIPPA: Yeah, so, Natalie’s nodding.

NATALIE: Absolutely. So two things that I don’t do - I don’t mentor anymore and I don’t do LinkedIn recommendations.

PHILIPPA: OK, why don’t you mentor?

NATALIE: I have lots of people that say, ‘will you mentor me?’ and I say, ‘I won’t mentor you, but is there something specific that you want or need?’. And if it’s an introduction, if it’s for me to look at your CV, I’ve got five minutes, I’ve got ten minutes on this day, I’ll do it and I’ll give you feedback. If you’re doing a grant application, ping it over to me, I’ll give you feedback.

PHILIPPA: So it’s task specific?

NATALIE: Very task specific.

Mid-life careers

PHILIPPA: Moving on to job applications. You mentioned LinkedIn, Natalie, according to them, women apply for 20% fewer jobs than men, despite similar job search behaviours. So they’re all searching in the same way. But the men apply for 20% more jobs. Why do we think that is?

NATALIE: So I know the research says it’s because we look at a job profile and say, ‘well, we can’t do 100%, so we’re not going to apply’. But I think we’re looking more objectively at organisations and saying, ‘do I think I’ll thrive in this organisation?’.

PHILIPPA: Do you think so? I mean, that’s a very positive take on it.

NATALIE: Speaking to my team, ‘will I be happy?’ and it’s a broader lens and the pool of organisations where you believe you’re going to be happy is a lot smaller than the pool of organisations that are offering roles. So I think there’s that. I think there’s the, ‘do I fit all of the criteria? Therefore I won’t apply’. And I absolutely say, if you think that, just stop and just apply. I mean, if I can do one thing on a job description or to be honest, if I can’t do any of it, but I just want to apply, I’ll apply.

PHILIPPA: Well, yeah, because there’s good data on that. With men, if they meet 60% of the qualifications, they’ll apply and women won’t, they want a much higher bar.

PRIYAL: I actually totally agree with what you’ve said because it’s what my experience was. After my first experience of the workplace, I was very focused on finding somewhere I could be happy in the long term and thrive.

LYNN: I’ve seen it personally. I’ve got a lot of friends that are hiring and when we put out a job application and we’re a small startup, we don’t have recruiters, we get hundreds and hundreds of qualified applications. And when I talk to colleagues, they’re like, ‘we can’t get 20 good applications’. I think it shows that people think they can be happy in my organisation. We’re mission-driven, we’re female-founded, there’s all of these outward signals that I embody the values that you might have. And I’m so thankful for that because...

PHILIPPA: There’s a clear purpose and people can see it?

LYNN: ...There’s purpose and again, it’s just a qualitative story of my own, but it’s something I hadn’t thought of, Natalie, and I see it every day in my own organisation.

PHILIPPA: OK, I’m going to move us on to job interviews, actually in the room. I’m thinking about what candidates should be aware of right off the bat when they’re talking about salary and benefits with potential employers. What should be in their mind at that moment?

NATALIE: So if you’re asked the question, ‘what is your previous or current salary?’ don’t answer that question.

PHILIPPA: OK, how do you...

NATALIE: We should not be asking the question, first of all. So anyone that’s still asking that question, stop...

PHILIPPA: ...But how do you say ‘no’ without sounding confrontational in an interview for a job you want?

NATALIE: ...and if you’re asked that question, I’d just say ‘what my current salary is, is irrelevant to the value that I’d bring to your organisation on day one of joining’.


NATALIE: Because it is. It’s irrelevant.

PHILIPPA: But I suppose I’m also thinking about things like, legally speaking, obviously, your employers, they can’t ask about that. They can’t ask about your age, your status, pregnancy intentions, any of these things. In your experience, are you still finding that - indirectly - quite a lot of employers are still trying to ascertain things like that when they’re interviewing women?

NATALIE: Inadvertently, people sort of say, ‘so, tell me more about yourself, you know, what do you do outside of work?’ and ultimately, ‘do you have children? Do you have a partner? Do you have things that mean you won’t have time to do this thing?’. That’s what they’re asking.

PHILIPPA: How do you counter that?

NATALIE: Again, it goes back to before you did the application, what sort of organisation did you think you were joining? If, at that moment, that question is asked and you believe that you need to hide it because it’s going to be a penalty, that is not a job that you should want to have. And that’s what I’m ultimately saying. We need to take responsibility for what our careers look like, because if you know it’s going to be bad at that point, it’s never going to get better.


PRIYAL: It’s a red flag. I totally agree.

NATALIE: Absolutely, a red flag.

PRIYAL: It’s a bit like dating, you know, if someone asks you on a date, a very awkward question, like, ‘will you continue working if we have children?’ then I know I’d be like, ‘bye!’.

PHILIPPA: Discussing potential children on a first date...

LYNN: There are like 12 red flags there! But I probably am guilty sometimes of asking questions because I do want to get to know the person. I have a small team, but it really is about ‘who are you and what’s important to you?’. But I’d hope that the gut of someone that’s interviewing with me is like... ‘Yeah, I’m a mum’. I talk about my two-year-old in an interview and I say, ‘yeah, he’s right here, and if he makes some noise, apologies’ and so I think probably from that you can understand where I’m coming from. But if you feel, going into something, that this will be used against you, you probably answer it in a very neutral way and you probably don’t accept that job.

PHILIPPA: As your career progresses, and obviously, you’re thinking you’re building up skills, you’re building up experience, you’re looking for more pay. We know that men are better. Data tells us the men are much better at asking for it. And they’re much better at getting it. Nearly one in every three men who ask for more pay get it. For women, it’s one-in-five. Now it speaks to confidence, what else does it speak to here?

NATALIE: There are organisations that just perceive we’re adding less value. So what can we do about that? Talk up the things that you’re doing, don’t do the work and then hope that someone knows that you delivered X or Y that delivered additional value for the business. Find opportunities to talk about the work that you’ve done. Even if you have to create the opportunity, you have to create a lunch and learn to say, ‘there was no strategy for this thing, this is the way that I did it’, or you take the organisation on a journey of having a conversation about something that they’ve never spoken about before. It might be [Artificial Intelligence] (AI), it might be digital marketing, whatever it is, show up. Because men show up in the social spaces, men show up in moments in meetings where they just add that idea. I used to say to all of the women that I worked with and that worked for me, ‘never go into a meeting and not contribute. You’re not here to take notes’, and at the point when someone says, ‘who’s taking notes?’, put your pen down.

PHILIPPA: It’s definitely not you!

NATALIE: Absolutely!

PHILIPPA: I entirely agree with that. We’re saying it’s bias on the part, or potentially bias on the part of employers, but there’s also good data that says when men move jobs, they’re just better at asking for more. So they’re better at asking, it’s not necessarily all about employers saying ‘no’. So it’s that, isn’t it? It’s actually having self-confidence. Why don’t women have it? Now, you’d kind of imagine, wouldn’t you, that now we would, but apparently we don’t.

PRIYAL: Well, we only got the vote 100 years ago. That isn’t actually that long. I think things have gotten better for us, but I still think that - I believe it’s harder to navigate the world as a woman and that can, over time, have an impact on your self-confidence. And I think there are things organisations can do to counter this. For example, I’ve heard of one organisation that has a ‘no negotiation culture’. They just always increase salaries in line with market pay, and that takes the onus off of women to have another thing to fight for and, kind of, puts the onus more on the organisation and it has benefits for the organisation.

NATALIE: Same. So at Belu, that’s what we do.

PHILIPPA: See, this is great, and it’s great that you do that. But we know most employers don’t do this. So, in terms of the onus being on working women to change this outcome, benchmarking? We talked about benchmarking earlier, benchmarking your own worth. How do you do it? You mentioned Priyal, there’s a tool for this. I mean, you obviously do this, Natalie. Do you do it yourself? How do you do it?

LYNN: I think it’s hard to say, you know, ‘have more confidence’. I think that’s like a really hard thing to say, but I think something that helps me is preparation. That’s just something personally that helps me. So when I think about preparation, it’s about doing my research so that’s about benchmarking and things like that.

PHILIPPA: So you know what the job should pay, you know what you’re worth?

LYNN: Absolutely, so it’s about using online tools as well as your social, you know, your friends. And then I think it’s rehearsing that conversation with people that you trust, you know, rehearsing and actually saying it out loud. I think sometimes saying it out loud is hard to do and I’ll speak just from my own experience. And then I think it’s about, also there are tips and tricks, I think. This isn’t woman specific, but I’ve been asked for a raise before in a big corporate job and it was, you know, ‘my rent was raised, so I need a raise’. And...

PHILIPPA: And your response to that was?

LYNN: ‘I don’t know how to tell HR that you need a raise because of your landlord’. You know, it’s not about you...

PHILIPPA: It’s about your performance?

LYNN: It’s about the company. And so you should always be framing those conversations. So, what can you add to the organisation? Hopefully your organisation has Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), goals, so what are your three month goals? What are your six month goals? What are your 12 month goals? And then you can go in and say, ‘I’ve met all my three month goals as well as done these five extra things’, so it’s about showing the value you’ve brought. And if your company does not have those more formalised systems, create your own three, six or 12 month goals, bring them to your manager, say, ‘this is what I’d like to accomplish. Is this in line with your expectations?’, and if they say ‘yes’, then I can’t wait to go back in six months and show you, ‘I’ve smashed all of my goals, I’ve done these extra things...‘

PHILIPPA: So let’s talk about the money.

PRIYAL: I’d add to that, if you’ve been at the same organisation for a long time, make sure you have clarity about what your job role is, and that you and your manager are on the same page. Because what can end up happening is you absorb tasks from here and there and there, and then your role becomes harder to benchmark. So that’s one thing I’d add.

PHILIPPA: What should you do if you’re in the room? Let’s talk about asking for a rise. You go in, you think you’ve done all the things you’ve talked about, and they say, ‘actually, no, not at this time, you know, budgets are tight’. What is your response to that? What do you say?

NATALIE: So there’s one other thing that you need to know before you have this conversation. Where’s the business in the financial planning year?

PHILIPPA: OK, so when’s the best time to ask?

NATALIE: You need to know that.

PHILIPPA: So tell me, when should you ask?

NATALIE: Go onto Companies House and look at the company account. So you can put the name of your company in and you can look up the company accounts and the filing date. And so it’ll either be January to December or generally April to March.

PHILIPPA: And this matters why?

NATALIE: Because budgets are planned in these cycles. So if you go at the wrong time and you get the answer that ‘we can’t accommodate it in the budget’, it’s because the budget’s been set already.

LYNN: And it’s a very valid reason. As a Founder, it’s a very valid reason, you’ve set your budgets and there’s no room.

PHILIPPA: So this is a very valuable tip?

LYNN: Very valuable, keep going!

NATALIE: The budget conversation might start three months before that, or six months, whatever it is.

PHILIPPA: OK, I’m going to play devil’s advocate and be awkward and say, ‘OK, I’m working for a micro business, there’s literally three of us there. So that sort of data isn’t available to me. What do I say?

NATALIE: So if it’s a ‘not right now’ and it’s where you want to be, then I’d say, ‘OK, over a period of time, I’d like to get to this salary. So what are the things that we can work on?’ Goals, activities, what other value can be added?

PHILIPPA: Other responsibilities, whatever it might be...

NATALIE: Absolutely. So that when we revisit this conversation in six months or 12 months, I have a clearer understanding of whether or not I’m in line for this sort of raise. And if it comes back that we just simply can’t afford it - which also is valid, if you’re a startup, there’s only so much money in the pot - you have to make a decision for you as to whether or not that’s something you’re willing to accept. Because there are other things that add value, not just money.

PHILIPPA: Exactly. Yeah. It might work for you in one way or another. There’s so many scenarios here, we don’t all have our ideal jobs, do we? I’m a great fan, I don’t know if you are, of documenting those conversations. Because it’s so easy, particularly in a small business, you know, not everyone’s working for multinationals or even SMEs, you know, small to medium sized enterprises. This stuff isn’t always written down by HR. So if you have a conversation like that with your boss, I mean, what I’ve done in the past is, I’ve sent an email after saying, ‘this is what we talked about and this is what you said’. And this is a good idea, do you think so?

LYNN: I think it’s a great idea, yeah.

PHILIPPA: Because then there’s no debate six months down the line.

LYNN: And also, look, as a Founder, I may have forgotten that conversation. That’s just, you know, there’s a lot going on.

PHILIPPA: Life is busy.

Later-life careers

PHILIPPA: Time’s tight, I’m going to move us on to later-life careers because obviously that’s a whole array of other responsibilities and challenges too. So, Priyal, I think the estimate is two-in-three of us, this is men and women, will have to take time out from work to care for someone at some point in our working lives. And it’s interesting that it’s men and women, because we tend to think of women as being carers. But presumably that must play into a carer’s gap in terms of both pay and pension?

PRIYAL: Yes. In fact, we did some research at PensionBee about the Carer’s Pension Gap.

PHILIPPA: And Lynn, I think you covered it, didn’t you?

LYNN: We did. We covered it at The Know. And the report found that for every year someone takes out, for unpaid caring duties, it’s equivalent to about £5,000 less in their pension pot. And you can imagine how that adds up...

PHILIPPA: How it rolls over?

LYNN: ...over the years. And the main cause, the root cause of that they found, was caring for children. So again, not only is there a gender pay gap, there’s that care pension gap that kind of compounds into later life.

PHILIPPA: I mean, as employers, have you experienced this? In the sense of women coming to you and you kind of get the sense they’re under-asking because they’re so anxious, they know they’ve got other stuff they need to be doing?

LYNN: Yes. And I understand it because I’ve been there. I understand deeply why women will go, why they’ll say, ‘you know what, I’ve got a job, a good enough job’. You know what I mean? You just start saying these things to yourself, ‘I’ve got a good enough job, I get enough pay, and I just need that flexibility’. Because you start thinking about all of the things that could happen, as a mother. Well, ‘what if the nursery calls?’, and it’s ingrained in us. And I really think the onus of this should be on the companies and we need to do everything we can to raise awareness about this, both as entrepreneurs, as employees, within the government, because the onus should be on the businesses to create transparency and flexibility. Show me a company that wants to hire women and wants to employ women. It’s a company that offers flexibility without having to ask for it.

PHILIPPA: Without a pay penalty?

LYNN: Without a pay penalty. And, if you really want to retain women, this is what you need to do. And I think, to me, it’s so simple.

PHILIPPA: Yeah, because it’s interesting you talk about, I mean, obviously working life is changing and one of the ways in which it’s changing is working lives getting longer. And then they run into a whole other challenge again, which is about being undervalued by their employers, because they’re perceived as approaching the point when they won’t be working for much longer and their companies don’t want to invest in them, they don’t want to train them, they don’t want to promote them. Strategies for that, please. I think we’ll close it up with that. What should those women do?

NATALIE: Eleanor Mills has a brilliant network called Queenagers. And I’m seeing more and more networks like this that are speaking to women in their 50s that have possibly had one sort of career trajectory in a very specific industry for a very long time. And what I’m seeing is these women are learning the art of the hustle and the portfolio career. Part of that might be freelancing, part of it might be advising, part of it might be coaching, it might be craft, it could be all of these things...

PHILIPPA: So you leverage your experience?

NATALIE: You leverage your experience. And the thing that I’d say that women should be looking at is board roles. So how can you bring your experience to bear without necessarily needing to work as an executive in an organisation, but also then be paid? And if you have a wealth of experience, there are loads of organisations that would snap up the opportunity to have that around their boardroom table. You can have a couple of board roles well into your 70s or 80s if you want to.

PHILIPPA: Which is a lovely idea. But thinking about the majority of women who aren’t in that career band, who are doing other sorts of more mainstream work, what should they be saying to their bosses, their employers about, you know, ‘please don’t stop training me’. How do they demonstrate their value?

NATALIE: That really hurts my heart. That someone would have to say, ‘please don’t stop training me’ in an organisation.

PHILIPPA: But it happens, doesn’t it? It happens.

NATALIE: So firstly, a training budget should be there for everyone to access. If you’ve gone to - if it’s a larger organisation - HR and said ‘I want to go on this training or I’d like a coach’, or whatever it is, and you’ve been told ‘no’ and you believe that it’s because of your age, then that’s clear age discrimination.

PHILIPPA: You’re legally protected against it.

NATALIE: You’re protected. That shouldn’t happen at all. If you’re in an organisation and you’re being sidelined from projects, again because of your age, you need to call it out. It’s another form of discrimination and this is genderless. But if you’re in an organisation and it’s not discrimination, but you’re not being seen, which I think is a lot of the conversation that Eleanor Mills is talking about, it’s exactly the same advice that we go back to in the beginning. Make yourself seen, talk about the things that you’ve done that add value.

PHILIPPA: And that you can bring? Things that you can add to your role, maybe? Mentoring?

NATALIE: Exactly, mentoring, or being a coach.

PHILIPPA: Or training in any form.

NATALIE: Being a coach within the business to support new talent coming through, helping set up systems and processes. But my biggest bit of advice would be to build out your portfolio career.

PHILIPPA: And to audit what you’ve got to offer at a later stage. If you want to carry on working or you have to carry on working, for whatever reason. That’s the thing that people don’t do. But actually, you should at that point be sitting down saying ‘what can I bring here?’, and telling your line manager what you can bring. Redesigning your job role?

LYNN: It’s being a handraiser, consistently showing when a new project comes up, you’re saying, ‘oh, this is going to be so interesting because in two years I can see us doing this’. It’s signalling, in ways, ‘I’m here, I’m going to be here’. And I think that then there’s some sort of subconscious thing of like, ‘oh, two years’, you know what I mean? And so you speak about the future, speak about the future in a ‘we’ sense, consistently talk about how you’re going to continually be there and be seen. I like that. I mean, I think that’s a really nice way of putting it.

PHILIPPA: And demonstrate you want to be part of it?

LYNN: And demonstrate that you want to be part of it, exactly.

PRIYAL: Oh, I really like that. I’d not considered that before, but this idea of planting those seeds, I love that.

PHILIPPA: I loved that discussion. So interesting. Thank you very much everyone.

PRIYAL: Thank you.

PHILIPPA: It’s been great to have you with us. Lots to think about. And talking of longer working lives, we’ll be back next month talking about saving for your 100-year life.

If you’re finding the podcast useful, please do leave us a rating and write us a quick review on your app. You know we always love to hear your thoughts.

And finally, before we go, just please do remember, anything discussed on the podcast shouldn’t be regarded as financial advice or legal advice. And when investing capital is at risk.

Thank you for listening.

Risk warning

As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.

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