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In today’s episode I sit down with Sophie Pender, the Founder and CEO of the 93% Club. Before training as a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, Sophie grew up in a single parent household on a council estate in North London and balanced two jobs in McDonalds and John Lewis alongside her schoolwork. After becoming the first student in her school to achieve straight A*s at A level, Sophie left for the University of Bristol to study English. In her second year, Sophie founded The 93% Club, a society dedicated to improving the experience of state school students at university. Since then, The 93% Club has become a nationwide charity and is the largest network of state educated students in the UK.Sophie was recently named a finalist in the 'Rising Star' category of the UK Social Mobility Awards and has been profiled in the BBC, ITV, LBC, The Guardian and the Telegraph for her work in this space.In our conversation we discuss her challenging upbringing, which included her fathers battle with alcoholism and drug addiction, the class-based issues she experienced whilst at university and why she founded the 93% Club.This is a super inspirational episode with an unequivocal future leader so be sure to listen to this episode in full!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I sit down with Sam Friedman, Professor of Sociology at the LSE. Graduating with degrees from both the University of Edinburgh and the LSE, Sam has spent his academic career specializing in class and inequality, particularly focusing on the cultural dimensions of contemporary class division. After publishing his preeminent book “The Class Ceiling – Why It Pays To Be Privileged” Sam has quickly become one of the most well-known academics in the UK featuring in BBC documentaries, commissioning reports for the UK government and most recently being appointed to ITV’s Cultural Advisory Council. In our conversation we discuss a litany of topics such as Sam’s privileged upbringing and how this motivated him to explore class inequality, the differences in risk-taking between privileged and less-privileged professionals and what can be done to promote more social mobility in the UK  .This is a really informative episode with a key social mobility influencer so I know you’ll enjoy this one. ***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
The North/South Divide

The North/South Divide

2021-06-3049:12

In today’s episode I sit down with Joe Seddon. Joe is the Founder and CEO of Zero Gravity, a tech startup which mentors students from low-income backgrounds into the UK’s best universities and careers. Launched from his bedroom in West Yorkshire, Joe has grown Zero Gravity from a student bedroom startup into one of the UK’s leading social mobility organisations. In 2020, Zero Gravity mentored 1000+ low-income students into highly-selective universities, including 151 students into Oxbridge. Last year, Joe was named as one of the Top 10 Young Digital Leaders in the UK by Lloyd’s Bank, and his work with Zero Gravity has been recognised with a social impact award from the Prime Minister.In our conversation we discuss a range of topics such as the north/south divide in opportunities in the UK, why so few students from the poorest households get into top universities and how Zero Gravity is disrupting the social mobility space. This is a really informative episode so lets get straight into it!Check out Zero Gravity here:Website: https://www.zerogravity.co.uk/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joinzg/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/joinzg/ ***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I sit down with Tony Hursey. Tony is a Planning Manager at Zenith, which is a part of the wider Publicis Groupe, one of the largest marketing and communications networks in the world. In his role, he has worked on award-winning industry campaigns with brands such as Ray Ban, Carling, & Rekorderlig, acting as a key client partner delivering media campaigns and cross-agency presentations. For his standout work, Tony has been identified as standout agency talent having been recognised as Highly Commended at the 2020 Zenith Annual Awards. In our conversation we discuss a range of topics such as how your socio-economic background can be used against you, why privileged professionals are overrepresented across industries and how young people from less privileged backgrounds can enter the advertising industry.***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I sit down with David McIntosh. David is a Management Consultant at KPMG based in Scotland having started his career as an Apprentice on the KPMG360 Programme. Whilst at KPMG, David founded the companies Social Mobility Scotland Network and now Chairs the wider UK Social Mobility Network. For his efforts advocating for social mobility, David was recognised as the BPP UK Apprentice of the Year 2020 and was also invited to meet and speak with Her Majesty the Queen.In our conversation we discuss a range of topics such as the link between financial hardship and mental health, how work relocation allowances can effect job opportunities for less privileged professionals and the value of owning your low socio-economic background. David is super transparent and open in this episode which makes for a very engaging discussion. I know you’ll enjoy listening to it! ***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
 In today’s episode I sit down with Rene Germain. Rene is a 28-year-old Digital Product Manager, writer, speaker and champion of the Black community. She has worked at leading investment banks, professional services firms and media companies. Rene has been writing about careers and navigating the workplace since 2016 to help fellow black students and graduates. This year her debut book, Black and Great, the career manifesto will be published by Coronet Books on the 19th August. Rene is also a prolific writer, having written for HuffPost, Fortune.com, Stylist Magazine and Buzzfeed news.Rene and I discuss a number of things such as her experience growing up without a computer at home, how she became a published author and the power of being bold and asking for what you want. This episode is equally as engaging as it is humourous so you’ll want to listen to it in full!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I sit down with Rene Germain. Rene is a 28-year-old Digital Product Manager, writer, speaker and champion of the Black community. She has worked at leading investment banks, professional services firms and media companies. Rene has been writing about careers and navigating the workplace since 2016 to help fellow black students and graduates. This year her debut book, Black and Great, the career manifesto will be published by Coronet Books on the 19th August. Rene is also a prolific writer, having written for HuffPost, Fortune.com, Stylist Magazine and Buzzfeed news.Rene and I discuss a number of things such as her experience growing up without a computer at home, how she became a published author and the power of being bold and asking for what you want. This episode is equally as engaging as it is humourous so you’ll want to listen to it in full!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I sit down with Akeem-Chavez Williams. Akeem is an Alumni Programme manager at Future First, an award-winning charity that builds alumni networks in state schools. Akeem joined Future First after 4 years of working in Higher Education at Russell Group Universities, as well as working with organisations to provide educational talks surrounding queer identity. Akeem has also worked on the HIV: Let’s sort this together campaign, which aims to end new diagnoses of the disease within a generation. This campaign is Manchester’s first HIV prevention and awareness campaign, and was in partnership with LGBT Foundation, George House Trust and PaSH.In our conversation, we discuss the recent Sewell report and whether institutional racism exists in the UK, the value of building alumni networks and what employers can do to level the playing field for young people. Future First do amazing work in the UK so I’m excited for you to listen and learn how you can get involved in what they do. ***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Afzal Hussein. Afzal is one of the most well-known career YouTubers in the UK with subscribers in excess of 75,000. His channel covers a range of topics from Banking to Finance, mixing it all with a lot of humour. He is also the Founder of Simpley, a career mentoring platform that helps mentees secure internships and graduate schemes.. Prior to this, Afzal started his career as a Banker at Goldman Sachs and completed multiple short internships at other multinationals such as BlackRock and EDF Trading.In our conversation we discuss a litany of topics such as why so few state school students receive private school scholarships, why employers who focus exclusively on race and/or gender can be seen as performative and the value of building a personal brand. This is the first time we've had someone quite famous on the podcast so we are excited for you to listen into the conversation!Check out Afzal here:YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/AfzalHussein/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/afzalhussein/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afzal_hussein/?hl=en***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Inez Sarkodee-Adoo. Inez is a Vice President at a bulge bracket investment bank having joined as a graduate analyst in 2015. Prior to her career in Finance, Inez graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Politics and Sociology and engaged her interest in journalism with contributions to the Huffington Post and The Observer. For all her great achievements, Inez has been recognised through her nomination as a Rare Rising Star and being shortlisted for the Woman of the Future Award. In this episode we discuss the impact that teachers can have when they believe in their students, what is was like to meet and interview Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and the approach Inez took that led her to get promoted to Vice President one year early and ahead of her graduate class. There’s lots to take away from this episode so be sure to listen in!Aspiring Actuaries be sure to check out Ranveer Kaur here:YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/RanveerKaur/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ranveerxkaur/ ***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Avishen Thondrayen.  Avishen is a Strategy Associate at one of the Big 4 professional services firms based in London. Before entering the working world, Avishen graduated from the LSE with a degree in Economics. After university he enjoyed two gap years where he not only travelled across Asia but also enjoyed short stints in Fast Moving Consumer Goods at Kraft Heinz and Mergers & Acquisitions at Credit Suisse.In this episode we discuss why first generation and less privileged students do not participate in extracurricular activities, the challenges Avishen faced when trying to obtain a graduate job and tips on how you can progress your career as a management consultant, which to be honest, can be applied to any profession so be sure to tune into those!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Tolu Oke. Tolu has a wealth of cross industry experience having worked within the third sector, investment banking and management consultancy. She is a well known and experienced diversity and inclusion leader, having recently led a number of award nominated D&I programmes at Sainsburys – she was actually recognised as a Future Leader by the Ethnicity Awards last year so she knows a thing or two. This episode is just as informative as it is entertaining because Tolu is so funny! We talk about the challenges she faced when applying to the University of Cambridge, why there is a £5000 pay gap between privileged and less privileged Oxbridge graduates and what organisations can do to support people from low socio-economic backgrounds. I know you’ll enjoy this one!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Tolu Oke. Tolu has a wealth of cross industry experience having worked within the third sector, investment banking and management consultancy. She is a well known and experienced diversity and inclusion leader, having recently led a number of award nominated D&I programmes at Sainsburys – she was actually recognised as a Future Leader by the Ethnicity Awards last year so she knows a thing or two. This episode is just as informative as it is entertaining because Tolu is so funny! We talk about the challenges she faced when applying to the University of Cambridge, why there is a £5000 pay gap between privileged and less privileged Oxbridge graduates and what organisations can do to support people from low socio-economic backgrounds. I know you’ll enjoy this one!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Shauna Bull. Shauna is a Regional Account Manager at LinkedIn based in Singapore. She is one of LinkedIn’s top sales talent, having won a place at LinkedIn’s Presidents Club in 2019, an award for the top 10% of sales people at LinkedIn globally. This comes as no surprise though as she was recognised as the WeAreTheCity Rising Star in Sales winner in 2017. In our conversation we discuss her upbringing in the east end of London, how travelling can build your cultural capital and the intersectionality of class and gender. Shauna is super humble yet fiercely driven so I know you’ll find this episode interesting!***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I speak with Dr Leanne Armitage. Leanne is a qualified medical doctor and the founder of the Armitage Foundation, a charity that aims to increase diversity across UK medical schools. She has been recognised as a Queens Young Leader, a LinkedIn Top Voice and has been interviewed and profiled by a number of news outlets such as BBC Radio, Channel 4 News and the Evening Standard. We discuss quite a few things in this episode such as the tragic event that led Leanne to pursue a career as a Doctor, why the medical profession is heavily populated with people from privileged backgrounds and how having a powerful why is the tool that can enable you to overcome any obstacle that may come your way. From our conversation you’ll quickly find that Leanne is quite the inspirational character and I’m excited for you to listen in. ***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
In today’s episode I sit down with Warren Wellington. Warren is a solicitor at a top international corporate law firm. He has experience advising domestic and international companies on a wide range of corporate transactions in particular mergers & acquisitions. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Black British City Group, a network of Black British professionals who seek to empower the Black British community through leveraging their collective skills and resources. Our conversation covers a number of interesting strands from our thoughts on why the poorest families tend to stay to poor, how young people from less privileged backgrounds can enter the legal profession, to the effect of social codes and unwritten rules at work. I know this episode is over an hour and you’re probably think “jheez, do I really have the time for this?”. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this one! Aspiring Solicitors be sure to check out Simranjeet Kaur Mann here: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/SimranjeetKaurMannInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/simranjeetkmann/***Please note that the views shared in this podcast by the speakers are personal and do not represent their respective employers.***
Climbing The Rungs is a social mobility podcast that aims to inspire young people from less advantaged backgrounds to achieve career success and raise awareness of issues related to socio-economic background. Here is a short preview of what you can expect from Climbing The Rungs. The first three episodes launch on Wednesday 24 February so be sure to subscribe to be the first to listen in!
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