At Carbon, we believe that it is important for all our employees to be heard, supported, and have a voice. As an employer, it is important to us that we understand and are equipped to deal with the issues that individuals and groups face in today’s society, giving confidence to our team that we are there for them, as they are for our clients.
Earlier this year, we ran a campaign for International Women’s Day featuring our female employees at all levels of the business. In the spirit of equality and encouraging all employees to speak out about challenges and barriers they are looking to overcome, we have spoken to some male colleagues within the business to get their perspective.
Tell me about your role with Carbon and what is involved day to day?
I’m currently a Trainee Financial Planner, on a journey to become a fully-fledged financial planner, with my own clients. My day-to-day responsibilities include preparing for, and presenting in client meetings, along with supporting lead planners with any meeting follow-up. Outside of client work, there is a heavy emphasis at Carbon on personal development. We regularly meet with an assigned ‘coach’ within the business and the team recently implemented a trainee development programme. Both keep us accountable and make our progression measurable and trackable.
What has been your career experience to date?
I joined Carbon straight from university as a graduate where I spent time on what has now been developed as their graduate programme. I spent two years with our client services team, learning the functions of business before progressing to trainee financial planner, whilst sitting exams with the aim of becoming a Chartered Financial Planner; a goal I have now achieved.
What are the key issues facing men at the moment and why do you think it is important that they are highlighted?
Men often put things to the back of their minds, internalise them and choose not to open up when they are feeling overwhelmed. Our relationships with one another often feel much more surface level, failing to broach deeper subjects. Times are definitely changing now as we create more awareness amongst men that is ok to open up.
As an employer, what support do Carbon give their employees who are potentially facing challenges?
Carbon as a business does what it can to put meaningful frameworks in place to ensure employees are supported both at work and on a personal level. We now have the health and wellbeing team within the business that is active and visible to all employees which I think is fantastic.
Over the years Carbon has continued to foster a supportive culture, with the directors all being very approachable. While everyone works hard to achieve our goals, we are encouraged to maintain a work-life balance and switch off outside of work.
What else could be changed in society to better support men to speak out about any issues and difficulties they are facing?
To never assume that those around us are doing fine, just because they say they are, or don’t open up about it. We need to do a better job of encouraging open communication, both at work and at home.
What men have had a positive influence on you, both in your career and personal life?
Collectively, the other members of the planning team as they are all great at the job and hold me to a higher standard.
What do you do to stay mentally healthy?
I try and stay fit to stay in a positive frame of mind. Recently I’ve got into a much better routine of exercising before work, and I feel this sets me up well for the day. If my life ever gets off track, it usually comes back to a lack of exercise.
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