In this week’s Meet & Greet interview, myGwork member and LGBTQ+ ally Charlotte Batters shares why tech tools need to work harder to promote inclusion at work and create space for diverse ideas in the new digital world. She also provides a glimpse into her role as CTS & CloudM’s Head of People Operations, as well as some insights into her social life.
myGwork: Can you tell us a bit about your career journey to date?
Charlotte: At a glance, it seems pretty normal. I’ve worked my way up from a People Admin through to Head of. But really it’s been a ride! I’ve spent a lot of time developing myself to move from thinking about the day-to-day to becoming much more aware of the business around me and how my team and I can create positive impact. I’ve learned lots about what I love to do, and what I don’t, which has really helped me create the job that I do today. I’ve diversified a little from the traditional HR role to taking on our internal technical teams too. My role is really about creating a space where people thrive – whether that’s through their role and benefits, or the tech and tools made available to them.
myGwork: What's the most challenging aspect of managing people right now?
Charlotte: I would say that right now the challenge is helping people to break down barriers remotely - but honestly, with the technology available, we can do a pretty good job! Google tools are really collaborative so we create all sorts of ways to communicate. I think the real challenge is creating inclusivity with these tools. A simple example would be to use introverts and extroverts; whilst we can all jump on a call to work through a particular issue, we might not all feel like we can get a word in edgeways. We need to be mindful of creating space for diverse ideas in the new digital world.
myGwork: What attributes do you look for in new recruits and why?
Charlotte: One of the reasons we put our values in place was to stop us from hiring (or not) based on “company fit” alone, but define traits that lead to success in our business. For example, we’ve grown quickly from “startup” so you have to be ok with a little ambiguity - we don’t have perfectly built out processes for everything. So on the flip side, we love people who are excited about solving problems, taking ownership and running with great ideas.
myGwork: How important is LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace for you personally?
Charlotte: Hugely! Inclusion – in general – is so important, and having experienced exclusion and “being different” it’s made this a key driver for me in what I do. There is so much work to be done in this space, and everyone has their role to play in it. I’m not sure how to summarise all of my thoughts on this into a shorter response but the simple fact is; the less comfortable you are, the less you will put yourself out there and take the opportunity to really reach your full potential. Think of all of the great ideas and exciting opportunities missed from lack of inclusion.
myGwork: What's your favorite inclusion campaign to date and why?
Charlotte: It’s so hard to identify one individual campaign as they, together, all help to drive progress. Personally, I love campaigns and actions which particularly drive story-telling. In a world that is increasingly polarized the biggest impact we can make is bringing people together to realise that, as humans, they have more in common than they could have ever imagined.
myGwork: How do you encourage staff to have a work life balance, especially with the increase in remote/hybrid working?
Charlotte: It’s really hard. When you’re working from home you can definitely get drawn into the flow of work and forget to take a break. Similarly, when you’re in the office you can get caught up in conversation! We try to empower people to take ownership of their time and have a fantastic engagement specialist who drives initiatives like a “Through the keyhole” game ran every day at 10am to encourage people to have fun, get involved and take a break.
myGwork: What's the biggest highlight of your career to date and why?
Charlotte: Great question! Honestly, the great thing about my role and this business is that this is constantly changing. We’re on such an exciting journey and every new and innovative benefit, event, training programme, etc, that we create is the new biggest highlight. I’ve been part of growing this business from 70 to 250 people, shaping the culture and so much more. So the whole adventure is a huge highlight, especially when we receive amazing feedback from the business and can see the engagement from our people. It’s so rewarding to know that you’re part of making peoples’ lives happier – we spend so much time in work after all.
myGwork: What was the last book you read? Any interesting take-aways and would you recommend it to fellow leaders?
Charlotte: The last book I read was A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini and wow, was it an eye opener! This book is about growing up in Afghanistan throughout the wars and is based on real life. I hugely encourage all leaders (and everyone else) to look for books about how other people live rather than lives you can relate to. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to living through someone else's eyes.
myGwork: What was your last holiday destination and where do you plan to visit next?
Charlotte: I last went to Malta and Gozo. I went for a short trip at the end of 2021 to get a glimpse of the sun! I plan on using our Work from Anywhere policy over the summer to work from France for a while; and really looking forward to spending my evenings with friends in the glorious Charentaise countryside.
myGwork: What do you to unwind at the end of a hard day?
Charlotte: I read a lot, and the usual socialising with friends. I also hit the gym to disconnect myself from work, but the truth is that the treadmill is where I have some of my best ideas just running through the events of the day.
You can find out more about Charlotte and connect with her here.
- Swapi CEO Pete Howroyd who talks about workplace equality and LGBTQ+ inclusion, and the importance of ensuring that every voice is heard.