Why when you pursue your passions you can do just about anything you put your mind to.
My guest on the very first of my podcast Dot to Dot ‘Behind the Person’ is Brenda Trenowden. Someone I met through work and ‘am extremely grateful to call a friend and mentor. Brenda is energetic, engaging, clever, driven and fun – known aptly by her friends as Wonder Woman.
Do you think that people can change careers later in life? Do you think experiencing life threatening illness brings your values into clearer focus? Do you believe that women and minorities should be more fairly represented across society? Is family important no matter what is going on in your career and life more broadly?
Brenda is extremely passionate about gender equality and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2018 as a result of the work she’s done. She has chaired the 30% Club since 2016. In this role she has encouraged, persuaded, convinced and corralled CEOs globally to understand and support the need for diversity. The campaign hit a milestone in September 2019, when the number of female directors on the boards of the UK’s 100 largest listed companies hit 30.42 per cent. Brenda was listed as the number one Champion of Women in Business 2018 in the Financial Times HERoes awards and in the Summer of 2019, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Queens University in Canada. Brenda spent more than 25 years working in the finance sector living in Paris, Singapore, Mumbai, Dhaka and London. She recently changing careers to work as a Partner at PWC championing Diversity & Inclusion. She is an advisor to the UK Government’s Hampton-Alexander Review. She is also on the England and Wales Cricket Board which reflects her family’s passion for the game.
In this episode we talk about what and who has influenced and shaped Brenda in life. We discuss the importance of curiosity which as a psychologist I know helps with both mental and physical health – allowing us to fulfil our potential. We discuss her role in leading the 30% club campaign and her passion for championing diversity and inclusion. We chat about moving careers in your 50s while being focussed on your values and what matters. We also talk about living with cancer and having a ‘glass half full’ approach to life (even touching on what Brenda calls cancer perks) and the reality of having days that are far from perfect. Most important of all we discuss Brenda’s family and how they are at the heart of who she is.
Brenda’s drive and passion for life is infectious. I hope after listening to this chat you’ll feel motivated to explore your own influences, interests and how you can go about pursuing and fulfilling your dreams.