Change Maker: Nicola Goldie, Aldermore Bank
As part of the Change Makers initiative, Mortgage Solutions spoke to Aldermore’s head of strategic partnerships and growth Nicola Goldie (pictured) about her work on diversity, exclusivity and equity and how she feels to have been nominated as a Change Maker.
Goldie is head of strategic partnerships and growth at Aldermore Bank, a position she took up in June this year. Prior to that, she was with Virgin Money for seven years, rising to the rank of head of national accounts. She has also held senior management position at both Lloyds Banking Group and HBoS.
She has worked tirelessly to improve diversity and equality in the mortgage industry as well as being vocal in her support of greater female representation in the sector, leading to her nomination as a Mortgage Solutions Change Maker.
What initiative or project saw you nominated as a Change Maker?
I was nominated for my work with the AMI Viewpoint D&I report and worked on the initial report into the mortgage industry to create a benchmark from which to start to create positive changes. Since then, I have been part of the AMI steering group and the taskforce activity that was a result of the findings alongside leading the IMLA I&D Group.
Why did this project mean so much to you?
I believe that everyone should be able to bring their whole selves to work and that everyone should be given fair opportunities to shine and develop in their roles and careers. This industry has so many great things about it but in terms of true diversity, equity and inclusion, there is still a long way to go to really reflect the communities and customers we serve.
I am passionate about moving our industry to be one where people can look in and know that this is the place for them. In my experience as a mother, a female and a leader in this industry, I want to help create this not just for people already in our industry today or looking to join our industry today but also for future generations.
Why did you feel the industry needed such an initiative?
Firstly, if you take the data, it’s easy to prove a business case for diversity, inclusivity and equity. Companies with stronger gender and ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 21 per cent and 33 per cent respectively (McKinsey, 2017).
Meanwhile, when employees ‘think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity, and they feel included’, their ability to innovate increases by 83 per cent (Deloitte, 2013). And 54 per cent of women and 45 per cent of men said that they researched beforehand whether a company had D&I policies in place when deciding to accept a position (PwC, 2017). It’s hard to argue that this isn’t something all industries should consider.
If you look across our industry it’s very easy to see there is still a long way to go in creating a truly diverse and inclusive culture, the data from the Viewpoint report gave us a place from which to start and it’s been brilliant to see the momentum gathering and changes starting to take place.
How did you go about bringing the initiative to life?
I was part of the steering group that selected the research partner Versity and worked closely with the AMI board members to create and promote responses for the survey. Once we had the data and the report, our focus switched to the sharing of the report and its findings to recruit other passionate individuals to work together on the taskforces taking recommendations from the report and creating actions to drive change.
One of the key initiatives was to create a website to become the ‘go to place’ for guidance, support, education. The Working In Mortgages (WIM) website was launched in October 2022, thanks to the amazing work of all the people involved in the taskforce activity it truly was a cross industry collaboration
What were the challenges you faced?
The subject of D&I is huge and so being able to focus on specific elements was important. All the people involved are volunteers so in many instances this work ran alongside their normal day job, so sometimes it felt like progress was perhaps slower than any of us would have liked. The challenge was to remind ourselves that we were continuing to make positive change and see just how far we had come in a relatively short space of time
Do you feel the initiative has made a difference?
Absolutely this has made a difference and on a number of levels:
The industry is closer together: AMI/IMLA/media and other industry sectors are working together on this, we have created a wide network for people involved that may never have had the opportunities to meet and learn from each other
Greater comfort: It has made the discussion about D&I more comfortable as this is being talked about now on a more regular basis – things like calling out unacceptable behaviour is now more expected than ever before.
More resource: The education and resources that have been built for the WIM website means that there is a place to go if you want to understand more/reach out to others/understand what career opportunities are available.
What are the current or next steps?
The WIM website is continuing to evolve and we are working now on chapter 2 of the activity. We have over 80 people now involved in working on activity covering 5 key pillars:
Visibility: Raising visibility of the WIM initiative and making it the go-to resource careers advice and inclusivity nest practise for the mortgage industry.
Outreach: Looking to forge connections and endorsement from external organisations and subject matter experts with shared goals
Impact: Deliver measurable interventions that help broaden access to opportunity and promote inclusive and supportive workplaces in the mortgage industry.
Community: Create spaces for individuals to share their stories successes and struggles and find support if needed and make it easy for people to connect with peers and role models they can identify with.
Deliverability: Ensure all commitments are manageable and proportionate to the capacity of AMI / IMLA and our volunteer taskforce.
We are also launching a cross-industry mentoring app. This is a first for our industry and will be a great opportunity for people to get involved as mentors / mentees and will also provide opportunities for reverse mentoring.
How much further do you think the industry needs to go to make changes and what should happen?
We are making some strong progress but there is plenty more to do. The great news is that this is continuing to gather momentum. What we need is to keep this going, bring more and more people on the journey. There are plenty of opportunities to be directly involved in things like the IMLA lunch and learn activities, the working in mortgages taskforces, DIFF, contribution to the WIM content but even if people are not able to directly get involved just being aware of the work that is taking place and being open and curious will ensure that we continue make positive change.
What does it mean to you to be nominated as a Change Maker?
I am so proud and humbled to be nominated as a Change Maker, on a personal level being recognised for doing something that I am really passionate about is amazing, but importantly what this has meant is that it has shone the spotlight on the wider D&I agenda and has led to many people reaching out to ask how they too can get involved or sharing their experiences, that’s the real power of this.
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