The Power of Balance

Lessons from a working-class, female leader: why diversity isn't enough

June 28, 2021 stephen barden Season 1 Episode 6
The Power of Balance
Lessons from a working-class, female leader: why diversity isn't enough
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I sat down with financial sector leader Jenny Knott to discuss how deceptive the drive to  diversity can be.   

How can we ensure that diversity really means inclusivity and does not end up being the status quo in another guise?  We also talked about her own challenges in being recognised - not just as a woman but as a working class woman: born, educated and developed outside the clubs and norms of the corporate elite.

Stephen Barden  0:17  

In this series, I've tried to bring you stories, and people, that show two things. First, how pervasive power is, how it is present in every aspect of our lives, and second that the most sustainably effective exercise of power is that of balance, of partnering. Despite being told by hundreds, if not thousands, of years of myths, to say nothing more recently of reality television, business consultants, and even some business schools that success comes from dominating, from leading from the front and crushing our competitors... The most effective and sustainable path to success, bringing sustainable growth, learning and relationships, and even personal success is that of balance. Like it or not, we and our worlds, of business, of family, of communities, and country are in it together and have to live and work together in a manageable and balanced relationship.  

Stephen Barden 1:24

Inclusivity, diversity, is a good start because it distributes power among a variety of genders, ethnicities, and cultures. But it's not enough. If the resulting diverse culture is still bent on dominating, leading from the front, and crushing its enemy. Partnership is needed, balance is needed, within the organisation and with the world.

Stephen Barden 1:54 

Today, my guest is someone whose extraordinary career I've followed for many years. Jenny Knott is a board-level investment banker with a 30 year track record in an industry which, in my experience, has built a fairly good record of diversity at all levels... But which doesn't do well at all either in inclusivity or in promoting a balanced partnering relationship with its world. 

Stephen Barden: 2:24

Jenny has been the international CEO of a global bank, as well as the CEO of leading edge of FinTech organisations. She's actually one of two people who helped me to understand what blockchain was all about. The other was my wife. Jenny is currently a non-executive director and a trustee, in both public and private organisations, and runs her own FinTech advisory company. Jenny lovely to see you again and thanks for talking to me.

Jenny Knott  2:53  

Thank you, I hope we're not gonna crush one another in this podcast, Stephen. No crushing allowed, 

Stephen Barden  3:00  

No crushing allowed, right? Stay away from crushing, please!

So what I wanted to just take a look at very briefly at the beginning was when you first reached board level as a CFO, and arguably then gained sort of wider authority... How well accepted were you, I think, I mean, were you accepted, welcomed into the club, as it were?

Jenny Knott 3:30 

That's a... It's a challenging question. I'm not sure I wanted to be in the club. So  I'm not sure that I could say that I was welcomed. Because I am not sure I wanted that. What I did believe is that I was appointed because of my capabilities. I don't think there was any tick-boxing in my appointments. I truly believe that my appointments were based on merit, technical merit, and actually leadership merit. 

That I mean, I think I was selected into those roles to bring my leadership skills to bear as much as my technical skills. But in terms of the club... The club, you know, I'm married, I've got children, I've got family commitments, I've got girlfriends that I'm always obligated to see, I didn't really want to be in the club anyway. I didn't want to spend, you know, my obligations were to my colleagues, and my clients, and then my family and friends. And, you know, and so, to choose to socialise and network, as you will know, was something that I didn't pay any attention to. Particular attention? No. And I regret that because I think that that would have helped me in the latter part of my career, but I didn't do it. 

Stephen Barden  5:01  

I mean, I wasn't a particularly club-able type of person either when I was in my managerial career and didn't want to be either. But there was something that was important about networking and building relationships with people not only within the organisation but outside the organisation wasn't there? 

That's how you build knowledge. That's how you build sustainability, in many ways, wasn't it? That's, that was something.

Jenny Knott  5:31  

I didn't value that. I did not value that in the early part of my senior executive career. I really didn't. And I, you know, I wasn't offended that they didn't invite me, because I didn't want to go. So it didn't, it suited both parties. I think it suited them not to need me there, as an outside factor, somebody that they're less comfortable with, and I didn't want to be in that uncomfortable situation. So our interests were aligned, although I'm not sure, strategically that was the best outcome for me on that.

Stephen Barden  6:05  

And when you then became CEO, did you feel then that your authority was as untrammelled as you, as it were, as if you had been a man? In any of the organisation's, you were CEO?

Jenny Knott  6:26  

Um... So, I, again, I think, you know, some of the complexity was my own. So what do I mean by that? I mean, I, when I influenced, liked to have substantive evidence and factual support for my recommendations, and for the decisions that either I had made, or I wanted my colleagues at the board table to support. So I always came in, loaded, if that makes sense. 

And I'm not sure that all of my male colleagues would have been as loaded, or felt that they needed to be as loaded. So that was a self-imposed constraint, on my part, you know, sort of, you can put it down to insecurity, or imposter syndrome, or whatever. But, but that was, that was definitely, you know, self-imposed and 99% of the time, I never needed to refer to it. No one ever challenged me and I needed to say, well, here it is, let's turn to page 674. It was rarely if ever, needed, but I did require it of myself. And sometimes I just thought, them knowing that there are 2000 pages of supporting documentation, evidence means that... It makes the whole thing easier. So, you know, it's sort of served a purpose. 

Jenny Knott 8:01

And where I would say that it was more challenging is in difficult scenarios, in challenging scenarios. So, you know, if I needed to persuade because they weren't naturally in agreement, then my persuasive skills had to be quite different from my natural skillset, if that makes sense. So I was very cognizant, for example, that any passion had to be really tempered in the way that I was delivering my message. Because, as you know, and you've known me for a very long time, I'm quite a flamboyant-y type of character when I'm in mode and in full flow. And, I know that you know, the pitch of my voice, the energy in the room, I have to be very careful. When it's positive, everybody sees that excitement and says, oh you're so energising, but when it's negative, then they see that as, you know, as a far less robust trait. 

Jenny Knott 9:12

So, you know, it would be "Oh, he's really, really frustrated with it." Whereas they will say, "Well, she's very emotional about it." So the language is really different and I was very cognizant that the language that would be used in relation, and in response, to the impact that I was having. I was very aware that that language would more likely than not be interpreted quite negatively and referred to quite negatively. So, therefore, particularly in, you know, complex scenarios, I tried not to display my frustration, my irritation, my impatience, and other negative traits, because they would not have been received in the way that I think many of my male colleagues... 

Jenny Knott 9:59 

A girlfriend of mine is a senior black woman and she said that you know, she really struggles when she's influencing her board table, challenging situations, because she says, you know, they're just gonna say "oh, she's an angry black woman", when actually I'm just really fed up because other people haven't done their jobs and they're crapping on me again. And so I really get that. And I was very aware of that at relevant times in my career, so I tried not to make the mistake. And tried to make sure that I moderated my speech, the pitch, that the tone and the pace, so that when I'm really cross, I would deliberately try and breathe and slow myself down and tal and talk as dispassionately as I possibly could when I was really bloody angry.

Stephen Barden  10:55  

That's an interesting thing, you know, because I was wondering, when you were talking, I was wondering whether this, whether the diversity revolution is actually white, middle class, western one. Because I remember when I was... As you know, I have Greek background in me and there were many times when people knew, or knew, that I had a greek background, they'd say, "Oh, he's an excitable Greek. He's just being excitable." If I was being cross, or if I was being forceful, if I was being dynamic... And there is something of that, you know...

Jenny Knott  11:29  

Well, it's stereotyping isn't it?

Stephen Barden  11:32  

It is stereotyping. The norm is... The norm, therefore, has to be white, middle-class Western. That bit: male, western. That is that stereotype. And then anything outside of that becomes then caricatured, I think. 

Jenny Knott  11:49  

Yeah, exactly, exactly. So I tried, I tried to model myself actually on my daughter's head mistress, who I found really terrifying, and formidable... But she never raised her voice! And actually, another thing that she did is she ended every school report of all the children at the school, she wrote a sentence about that child. That one sentence summed up your child beautifully. 

So what she was the queen of, that I admired greatly, was clarity, and brevity. I thought that was really interesting. I thought that in, you know, less than 10 words, she could sum up my kids. Beautifully. In a sentence. And I thought that was very interesting. So I tried to apply that as well, because, I also believed as a female, again, coming back to caricatures and stereotypes, that verbosity was my enemy in a boardroom.

Possibly not doing a very good job of that one with this podcast, but

Stephen Barden  12:55  

That's what you're here for! I think verbosity is anybody's enemy in a board meeting, isn't it?

Jenny Knott  13:06  

Well, yes, it is... But when you're... So, when I mentor, and you'll be frightened to hear that I mentor younger women, but I do... When I mentor them,, one of the things I'll say to them is, "have you noticed what I've just done?" And they often say "yes, you're not listening to me." And I'll say, "No, I am listening to you. What I'm doing is adopting a very different stance. What I'm doing is tempering." So you kindly now Steven are nodding at me. So I believe, that because you're looking at me and nodding, I believe that you're actually consuming the words that are leaving my mouth. More often than not, when I'm in a boardroom. My colleagues around that table will be playing poker, as far as I'm concerned. There is absolutely no visual cue that they have consumed anything that I said. And I think for women, those visual cues are quite important. I think that they need those visual cues, they need to see people nodding, and you might not be in agreement, but you're following the conversation. 

So for me, when I, in the early parts of my career, you know, if I didn't get that visual cue, I didn't believe that I'd been hurt. I hadn't resonated. And so, therefore, I would say the same thing again, just slightly different words, slightly quicker, and hope that my message had reached home. And then I would still have silence and poker players around the table. Then I panic and I'd say it again really quickly and really succinctly. Then Johnny-come-lately would sit at the other end of the table and say exactly what I'd said in even fewer words. And they'd say, yeah, you've got it. And I think I've just said that. I said it three times. But I had said it three times. And I said it in too many words the first time, too quickly the second, they were bored by the third. And then good old Johnny in the corner, repeats it and they hear it and they get it and he doesn't care whether it hits home or not. He didn't look for the visual cues. He didn't need the visual cues, and it was me needing that that actually was my enemy and is the enemy I think of many women in meeting situations.

Stephen Barden  15:21  

I think in my view, or in my experience, if you like... Working, working both women, and being in largely similar positions that you've been, when you've said that when that's happened to you... That, for me, is an exercise of power. When people do that, when they simply do not acknowledge you speaking, they're exercising power. They're exercising power over. They're saying, I don't care what you're saying, I'm not interested in what you're saying, I may hear, which is I'm not interested in what you're saying, I'm showing you actually that I have more power, because by showing you... It is only in a dialogue of equals, that you're going to nod at what I'm saying and I'm going to nod at what you're saying.

Jenny Knott  16:04  

Exactly, exactly. 

Stephen Barden  16:06  

It's in a dialogue of inequality. It's in a dialogue of, not even a dialogue, it's, yeah, it's in a discussion or a dialogue or whatever, it is an arena of inequality, that the one is going to do things like not acknowledge what you're saying.

Jenny Knott  16:25  

Yeah. And it's certainly a tool that I found unhelpful colleagues to employ.

Stephen Barden  16:35  

Can I just ask, because that brings me to the other point? I've made the point earlier when I was doing my long rambling introduction, that you know, diversity is a very good start, but it's not enough. There needs to be... We need to be looking at partnership partnering.

Jenny Knott  16:54  

Yeah, so this is something I'm super passionate about Steven. So, to me, I went on talking about diversity and inclusivity. And I talked about them as the cornerstones of, the foundation, for robust innovation. So I'm really, I'm very passionate about this area, as you know. 

For me, I quote an example of Lehman Brothers and say, you know, from a numeric perspective... Lehman's ticked all the boxes from a diversity perspective. They had more female and, black and Asian leaders in their organisation than anybody else on Wall Street at one time and they reported as such in their annual report. But they absolutely were not an inclusive culture. And I'm not, I don't think any of us would say they were particularly innovative. I mean, you know, they could arbitrage. They could see your weak point and extract maximum value from it, but that's not necessarily innovation. And so, you know, diversity learning, and I, when I talk about diversity, I talk about demographic diversity. So within your introduction, you know, gender, race, sexual preference, you know, all factors that are, you're born into, effectively. You know, where I'm born, and what religion, and what colour, and what gender, and what sexual preference really, you know, outside of my control, they're not really things I could do about it.

So, demographic is important but because it impacts the next two. It impacts cognitive diversity, what matters to you, and it impacts experiential diversity. So, you know, as the, I think, first female CEO of a bank in the UK. My pride wasn't because I was a female, my pride came from my social-economic journey. The fact that I went to a comprehensive school, I didn't come from the A-typical privileged background. So I was much prouder... When everybody wanted to interview me at the start you know, they knew they wanted to interview me, because I was a woman, not because I was a comprehensive school girl. If anyone had said to me, oh, we're so interested in you because you went to comprehensive school, and we think that's really, you know, a novelty, and different, and exciting, I want to understand your journey more... I would have been... I would have responded to that. But they didn't. 

They just wanted to interview me because I was a woman. So life experiences, experiential diversity, and where you have grown up, where cultures you've been exposed to, where you've travelled to... Those are much more interesting factors to me. And when I'm building leadership teams, I'm really very sensitive, maybe years ago, I didn't really understand that language, but it was actually something that I always embraced, even though I didn't know I was doing it, was I wanted a group of people around the table who could challenge one another. Together our outcome would be greater. And that was always my aspiration. And I always knew that mini-me's or the same clone, we were never going to come with the right creative solution to the problem we were facing. 

So I always naturally had quite a spread of different kinds of characters. And some of them were super eccentric, but they thought differently, and they had completely different ways of responding to a challenge in thinking through problems and reacting. So that diverse team, properly diverse, was critical. But it isn't just about the diversity, as you say, it's about actually, you can have all of those people in your organisation... But if you don't change the way the organisation works with those people, if you don't have an inclusive culture, if you don't have that sense of belonging, if they weren't listened to, if I just brought them into the meeting room and spoke at them, I'm sure some of them would say I did, you know, if I didn't listen to their input, and didn't make them feel that they had an input, that their opinion mattered to me, and they were of value, and they were able to significantly influence the outcome, then why bother turning up? Why bother putting the effort in? So you've got to make people feel included and valued and have that sense of belonging, and those sound like really soft words, but they're really important. So, you know, if they don't want to wear a suit, or start at 8AM, or they want to put their headphones on? Why does that matter? Why do I care? What you know, I'm not a conformist in that way, I want people to feel comfortable, to be as productive and as effective, and as content and as excited and empowered as possible. So, my inclusivity, my inclusive culture, is as critical if not moreso, to the success of just having a diverse leadership team in any description.

Stephen Barden  21:53  

And I think the diversity can if it stops there, can sort of blunt you to a lot of other things, doesn't it? And by the way, when people wear earphones, there are some times you don't want them to wear earphones because you want to be talking to them. So you want to hear you!

Jenny Knott  22:11 

Sure, but if they're just sitting at their PC working. Unless it matters, you know, I don't care.

Stephen Barden  22:20 

I understand. I'm making a small but delicate joke. 

Jenny Knott  22:22  

I'm sorry, that went over my head, Stephen! I'm a banker and an accountant you know, sense of humour is a challenge! 

Stephen Barden  22:30  

The other thing, the thing that I want to get back to is, you know, we talked about inclusivity... There are two aspects. If we're talking about inclusivity and diversity and making people feel welcomed, etc, etc. But, there is another point that keeps on cropping up more and more, and now when I work with people and talk to people and it is... Inclusivity from which norm? So in other words, there is for me, there are two kinds of inclusivity. One is genuine inclusivity which says the norm? There is no norm of which is you know, which is the favoured behaviour here. In societal terms in the West, it's white, it's middle class, it's Western if you like, there is that norm that says... There is that inclusivity exists that I will include you in my Western, my Western middle class, male-dominated, possibly, but in western middle-class behaviour of norms, I will draw you in. Or, I will, the other inclusivity that says I don't... Not only do I not care where you come from, I do care where you come from because it brings richness into my culture, it brings richness to this culture of my organisation, it's going to make me think differently. It's going to make me think, never mind out of the box, you know, out of the train, let alone out of the box. That's what something that we're also, I think, need to be now working towards is saying there is... Inclusivity must be “come into the arena, with your culture, with your norms, with your richness, because that enriches me.”

Jenny Knott  24:22  

Sure. So I think what you're saying is that the concept of a norm is the culture of the organisation. That is the norm right, whatever that culture may be, or whatever that norm may be. And if we want to be really inclusive, then that culture needs to be really inclusive. And that is such a difficult thing to articulate, right? I mean, anything sort of cultural is super difficult to articulate and takes time. But, it is very... I hate the term "soft" and "hard" because it makes it sound like perceptions here factor, but it is very much around, you know, emotion, it's about feeling. It's about a sense of belonging. It's about being empowered to make a decision. It's about your beliefs. So, you know and assumptions. 

If you believe you're only going to be promoted, if you behave in a certain way, or you're in with a certain click, then that belief becomes reality becomes part of the normalised culture. So, you know, all of those, all of that language, is very challenging, if you aren't honest about that, and address that. So, you know, to me, when you want to get your culture right, you have to... I always believe that we measure, and monitor, and manage, and reward what matters. So you have to really articulate, you know, these are the behaviours we want to see, not just the numbers, these are the behaviours, and then these are the behaviours, and we're going to reward examples of good, and we're going to not reward examples of not good. 

So we're going to have a really open and transparent and trusting culture, because we are illustrating how we evidence what matters to us through our appraisal process or our reward culture. And if you don't exhibit these things, we won't reward you and, that's with money or with promotions, or with credit, or whatever it is. And that takes time. But that builds trust and confidence, but it has to be consistently applied. And I know you always told me offer, you know, scenarios where you thought that I hadn't been consistent. And leadership, you always educated me... A critical skill is to be consistent. So the challenge for organisations is, they can't just say that they can't just create the appraisal process, they have to make sure that at all levels and in all aspects of their organisation, they are consistently applying that language, that behaviour, delivering that outcome, and that's difficult, it's difficult Stephen. It takes time!

Stephen Barden  27:20  

It is difficult. And you know, what, one of the things that I have been working quite a lot with, in terms of changing culture and saying to people is: you cannot build or have a culture which is it which is at odds with the strategy of the organisation, the strategic, you know, the strategy the greater warble if you like, of the organisation. The culture has to be aligned with its strategy. And therefore, you know, for example, having a, you know, I remember a bank which will remain nameless because it's now disappeared... But where, you know, they had carved out on their walls, you know, team spirit and what was the other one? That sort of integrity and it, you know, the conflict between traders and the salesman, and on the floor, was extraordinary, and it would go into fistfights. There was no such thing as a team spirit there. Because frankly, you know, it simply was against the strategy of this organisation, so it has to be aligned. And of course, it shapes. They each shape each other because he was saying, you know, my culture has to be aligned with my strategy. And I would like my culture, I would like my people to be... To have, you know, integrity and I would like my people to have entrepreneurship, then, which are good qualities that's got to be reflected in the strategy as well. So they both steer one another if you like. Culture, for me, is not a fixed thing. It's a growing, developing thing. 

Jenny Knott  29:03  

It has to be, it's a live thing. 

Stephen Barden  29:07  

So, therefore, you know, when one goes into an organisation or there is an organisation where its culture is dominated by, let's go back into the character, if you like, by, by white middle-class males, and you want to change it, you have to then start looking at some quite dramatic changes, and consistent changes. Both in the strategy and in the culture itself. And in the culture itself.

Jenny Knott  29:33  

Exactly and you see evidence in embryonic companies. In startups, you know. Their strategy and their culture are completely aligned. So they are, you know, they're very inclusive, it there's no hierarchy, there's, you know, total passion, total transparency of the aspirations of the organisation, everyone's aligned behind it. They're all energised, you know, they have common goals, aligned goals, well-shared goals, very well communicated. You know, they can work in a much more personal way that suits their individual preferences. And nobody cares, because those things don't matter at those early stages, and there's something about the transformation when you're winning success, that suddenly, all of those things that made you super successful as a startup, you know, the need start documenting and formalising because the clients that you're servicing operate in, for example, a very regulated world. And therefore, you need to start writing policy documents. And you need to start writing down your processes and your procedures and, you know, sharing those with your clients, which in the early part, you know, it was all, it was all known in everybody's heads, and hearts. and on bits of post-it notes. So you know, that journey to formalisation, that journey to a more robust, or grown-up, or regulated architecture suddenly starts eradicating all the components of their culture and their behaviours, that made them successful, and exciting and innovating to start with. It starts really, and I don't understand, but it's so common, I don't understand why the need for formalisation should eradicate, and I think it is eradicate, you know, not just temper, but sometimes eradicate, all of the values, all of the behaviours... All of the components of their culture that made them so exciting. And so, you know, competent, and so creative, and so capable, in the early period. But I've seen it over and over again, the bus is now going right, we've got to start documenting, we've got to stop formalising, we've got to start, you know, being a bit more thorough and robust as far as all sorts of governance is concerned. And then all the things that were wonderful, are now seen as in a bus going left. You can't retain them. And I don't understand why you can't.

Stephen Barden  32:17  

Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. And I wonder if it's got something to do with what when they start getting into that second stage, and maybe they've got it, you know, an investment and investors come in and start asking for... You know, formalised leadership. 

Jenny Knott  32:39  

It always starts with reporting, 

Stephen Barden  32:41  

Absolutely, reporting which of course has to come from a formula. And then of course, once you've got that formalised leadership, then you're starting to reward that formula as leadership punches, you're starting to reward that formula as leadership in a way that was different to what the startups are doing.

Jenny Knott  32:58  

So you start, you're starting to elevate a profile. That's the problem. And then we move to an old norm that we had, you know, we had deliberately dismissed from our organisational culture to start with, and suddenly it starts to seep back in. You've got to start reporting quarterly numbers, or whatever performance, and suddenly people are getting profiled because they're meeting with the investors or they're, you know, meeting with the clients. And suddenly, you start creating a two-tiered architecture.  You don't need to, but people believe that that's happening. It's that belief that I'm not in the room, I'm not the one doing that presenting. It's not my numbers that they're using or whatever, I'm not part of that process. And suddenly, people start feeling excluded and left out, or whatever. So it happens. And we and they stopped being transparent. Because, you know, every court is not really important. It's always something that's a challenge. So people stop being so transparent and start hiding things which up until that point, everything was transparent-aligned, and on some chat forum for everybody to see every day and every week and what have you. You know, an open and relaxed discussion about these things. Suddenly, you start having secrets. 

Stephen Barden  34:19  

Absolutely. And there are different, then there are tears of tiers of influence aren't there going back to the whole issue of diversity, and how do we continue the wave of diversity? Do women leaders now have, men and women leaders, but particularly women leaders, now as they come in growing numbers... Do they have a particular responsibility to ensure that there is not only diversity but there is what I call partnership or inclusivity within growing and inclusivity within organisations?

Jenny Knott  35:09  

Yeah. So, you know, this debate isn't unique to just diversity. It's also, I think, a completely parallel debate for a different topic, which is ESG. But it's to me, it's the same thing. If you want to see the outcomes changed, then as individuals, you have to express your opinion. And you do that through not buying, or buying. You do it through voting for one party versus another. So, you know, for me, you know, consumers and shareholders have a massive obligation at their fingertips around expressing their preferences. 

So I'm just going to use an example. And it's possibly not fair, but… And you may need to edit it out. But you know, but if I look at someone, like Adidas, right? You live in Germany, I look at Adidas, you know, do I believe that they, at their senior leadership level, have the appropriate diversity that reflects their consumer base? No, I bloody don't. So why are their consumers not saying, hey, this isn't good enough, I'm not going to buy Adidas trainers, because you don't partner with the people that matter to me, you don't represent yourself? You know, I looked at this organisation who's earning profits and who's making decisions that are allegedly for me and about me, but no one looks like me. So you know what, I'm gonna buy Nike because I look up at Nike, I see something completely different. 

It's a bit harsh, but you get my point, you have that right, as a consumer. Women have that, right. Everybody has that right. And you have that right, from a diversity perspective, you know, if what, why shouldn't I see a leadership team that has somebody who is disabled, you know. They will be thinking differently about what matters to the services and how they're consumed. And actually, maybe, you know, lace-up trainers, for every disabled person isn't the easiest thing to put on. So you're not allowed to be cool and wear the right trainers just because you're in a wheelchair, or, you know, you don't have full body capabilities? That doesn't make sense to me. But did they think about that? Do they care about that? Well, no, they wouldn't, because there's nobody anywhere near the top of the shop that they're doing, you know, that is influencing those things. 

So you know, they don't reach out to the different community groups and consumer groups and the consumers and the community and not punishing them accordingly. And you can. You can make that vote with your cheque book. And we don't do enough of it, we just don't and women are as bad as every other lens that you want to apply. Whether it's, you know, an energy lens or you know, anti savoury policy, you know, there is a chain of shops in the UK, it's quite popular, and I just think to myself, honestly... Do you truly believe that you can buy a T-shirt for a pound in this chain, where all the practices in the supply chain have, you know, robust anti-slavery policies, robust chemical and dyeing policies? That those dyes are not leaving those factories and polluting the waters, you know, you should care! And the problem for me, Stephen, is that people at every level are apathetic. And that's women too so, you know, we shouldn't support our and put our money inside banks or our investments with pension providers and support supermarkets where when we look up to that organisation's structure, we see something that doesn't look like us or feel like us, or where we matter to them. But we still do it because we're lazy and apathetic.

Stephen Barden  39:25  

Yeah, or else, either we're lazy and apathetic, or we don't understand what partnership means. And that's, you know, that's what I keep on banging on about this. And, you know, members of my family fall asleep as I mention the word and, but it is! It's this basic assumption that says, you know, I'm, I'm in constant interrelationship with my world with my partner. My world is my partner. I can't do without it. I'm never in a vacuum. You know, whatever I do, if I try to dominate it, it's going to come smacking me in the teeth. That's something

Jenny Knott  39:25  

That all comes back to your belief in the power of one, the ripple effect, the butterfly effects. The people who don't use their vote because they say my vote doesn't matter. You know, it's the same thing, isn't it? It's that apathy that I didn't believe in the power of what?

Stephen Barden  39:40  

Yeah, and I, you know, I don't believe in the power of one in a vacuum. I do believe in the power of one in a relationship with other ones. Because we're always in a relationship. We're always acting in a relationship. You know and that relationship is key. The way your relationship with your fellow beings is key because it influences so many other people who pass that course.