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From Finance to Feminism: This is her “Why”

Embark on a transformative journey with Eula Clarke, the visionary CEO of Clarke Associates Consultancy, as she shares her inspiring evolution from the world of financial services to a beacon of empowerment for women worldwide. With a focus on coaching and mentoring, particularly in team building, performance enhancement, and diversity and inclusion, Eula’s story is a testament to the power of self-discovery and the relentless pursuit of one’s true purpose.


What motivated your transition from financial services to CEO of Clarke Associates Consultancy and to focus on coaching and mentoring women, with a particular emphasis on team-building performance enhancement, and diversity and inclusion initiatives?

My journey from the financial services sector to becoming the CEO of Clarke Associate Consultancy, where I focus on coaching and mentoring women, particularly in team building, performance enhancement, and diversity and inclusion, is deeply rooted in a series of workshops we organized across Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, and London.

During these workshops, we had the privilege of hosting over 200 women at each event, where they were engaged by key speakers and given a platform to share their ideas and experiences. It became clear to me that there was a genuine need for women to have a safe space to voice their thoughts and aspirations.

With the initial support of my employer, the bank, we delved deeper into understanding what obstacles were preventing women from breaking the glass ceiling or reaching their career goals. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, and it was clear that there was a hunger for more opportunities for growth and support.

Partnering with institutions like Birmingham University, we were able to further explore these themes and compile our findings into a comprehensive manual. The collaborative effort showcased the importance of team building, performance growth, and diversity and inclusion in fostering a supportive environment for women from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

This journey ultimately led me to establish Clark’s Associate Consultancy, where we continue to empower and uplift women by providing them with the tools, resources, and support they need to thrive in their professional lives.

Could you discuss the inspiration behind writing “A Call to Elevate” and outline some key strategies it provides for readers seeking transformative life changes and aiming to achieve their aspirations?

In “Call to Elevate,” one of the core strategies I delve into is the Seven Call to Elevate, starting with understanding your “why.” It’s about digging deep to uncover what drives you, why you do what you do, and how that shapes your actions every day.

Another crucial part is setting goals and crafting a vision for your future. It’s about painting a clear picture of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Managing your daily routine is also key. It’s all about making the most of your time, staying organised, and staying on track toward your goals.

Personal development is a big focus too. I encourage readers to know themselves – their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. And seeking out mentors or coaches can be incredibly helpful along the way. Leadership is something I explore as well. I talk about how everyone can develop leadership qualities, even if they don’t see themselves as traditional leaders. And of course, overcoming challenges and making a difference are big themes. It’s about facing obstacles head-on and finding ways to create positive change in your life and the lives of others.

Lastly, giving back is something I’m passionate about. I believe in the power of supporting communities and charities, and giving back your time and resources can truly make a difference.

With over 45 years of experience in one of the UK’s largest financial institutions, you must have encountered various challenges and successes. What are some lessons you’ve learned throughout your career that have contributed to your success as a trusted board advisor and CEO?

Over my 45 years in the corporate world, I’ve picked up some invaluable lessons that have shaped my success as a Trusted Board Advisor and CEO. One big takeaway is the importance of having mentors and coaches every step of the way. Their guidance has been crucial in navigating challenges and seizing growth opportunities.

I’ve always believed in keeping communication open and making sure I fully understand the ins and outs of my responsibilities. Knowing the regulatory principles behind what I do ensures clarity and accountability. Continuous learning has been a big part of my journey. I’ve made it a point to stay up to date with courses and training to keep my skills sharp and stay ahead of the curve. When I made the transition from Birmingham to London, it wasn’t easy, but I tackled it by immersing myself in the local environment and building strong relationships with my colleagues and communities.

Managing expectations has been a challenge, both at work and in my personal life, but having coaches and mentors to turn to has been a huge help. I’ve learned never to sell myself short and always strive for excellence, regardless of any obstacles. As a Trusted Board Advisor, understanding my role and aligning myself with the board’s expectations has been key. I’ve spent time studying the requirements set by regulatory bodies like the charity commission to ensure I’m fully prepared to fulfill my duties effectively.

Ultimately, my success boils down to a determination to break through barriers and aim high. I know I’m just as capable as anyone else, and that mindset has driven me forward in my career.

Could you expand on the objectives of the Women in Leadership workshops you conduct and detail the strategies you employ to empower female executives, fostering their excellence in management and expertise within their respective fields?

The strategy employed to empower female executives during the Women in Leadership workshop series was multifaceted and tailored to address their specific needs and challenges. Firstly, we organised the workshops into groups based on participants’ experience levels, ensuring that discussions and activities were relevant and impactful for each attendee. This allowed for focused conversations on obstacles such as gender biases and skill gaps.

Secondly, we facilitated open and honest discussions within these groups, creating a safe space for participants to voice their concerns and share their experiences. By encouraging dialogue and exchange of ideas, we fostered a sense of solidarity and support among the attendees.

Thirdly, we integrated the insights and discussions from the smaller group sessions into the main sessions, where all participants came together to collectively brainstorm solutions and strategies for overcoming barriers to advancement.

Furthermore, we leveraged the expertise of professionals within the participants’ respective fields to provide mentorship and guidance, offering practical advice and support to help them navigate their career paths.

Additionally, we collaborated with Birmingham University to document the workshop series, capturing valuable insights and learnings that could be shared and utilised beyond the workshops themselves.

Overall, by employing a combination of group discussions, mentorship, collaboration, and documentation, we aimed to empower female executives to overcome obstacles, realise their potential, and thrive in their careers.

How do you utilize your experiences as a wife and mother to mentor women in cultivating strong relationships and progressing in their careers, and what guidance do you usually provide to women managing the balance between personal and professional obligations?

Drawing from my experience as a wife and mother, I find that mentoring women in both building strong relationships and advancing in their careers involves a mix of personal anecdotes and practical advice. I always start by sharing stories from my journey—how I’ve navigated the balancing act of family life and career aspirations. These real-life examples often resonate deeply and help others see that they’re not alone in facing these challenges. One thing I emphasise is the idea of work-life integration rather than seeing them as separate spheres. It’s about finding harmony between personal and professional responsibilities, knowing that they can complement each other rather than compete for attention.

Self-care is a big focus too. I stress the importance of taking care of oneself—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary for maintaining energy and resilience amidst the demands of both home and work. I also encourage women to build strong support networks. Having a tribe of like-minded individuals who understand your struggles and cheer you on can make all the difference. When it comes to managing the balance between personal and professional obligations, I advise setting clear boundaries and communicating openly with everyone involved. It’s about finding what works best for you and your family, whether it’s scheduling dedicated “me time,” negotiating flexibility with your employer or delegating tasks at home or work.

And lastly, I remind them to prioritise self-care and not feel guilty about it. Whether it’s taking time for a hobby, getting regular exercise, or simply enjoying moments with loved ones, investing in yourself is key to maintaining that balance and thriving in both aspects of life.

Could you discuss the causes close to your heart and the intended impact of your philanthropic support for charitable organizations in the UK, Africa, and the Caribbean?

My philanthropic journey continues to evolve, as I now share my expertise through leadership training and mentorship for other women. My dedication to giving back and making a positive impact is truly inspiring, and my ongoing support is a testament to my compassionate spirit and commitment to uplifting others. My ongoing contribution to advancing women in leadership positions, both in the corporate world and society as a whole, is commendable and impactful. Through my book, “A Call to Elevate,”  I offer valuable insights and transformational journey tips, empowering women to set goals and embark on their journey of growth and development. The seven calls to elevate serve as a roadmap for personal and professional advancement, guiding women toward success and fulfillment.

Furthermore, my commitment to mentorship and coaching is invaluable in fostering the growth and development of aspiring female leaders. By providing guidance and support, I help break down barriers and pave the way for other women to climb the ladder of success. The emphasis on personal development underscores the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement, both in the corporate realm and in broader society.

Considering your journey, what are your aspirations for the advancement of women in leadership positions, both in the corporate realm and society at large, and how do you foresee your ongoing contributions to further this cause?

As I continue to advocate for women’s advancement, I actively seek opportunities to collaborate and share my expertise with those in need. Whether it’s through one-on-one mentoring, organisational support, or collaborations with like-minded individuals and groups, I remain dedicated to making a positive impact and uplifting others. My ongoing support and contribution exemplify my dedication to empowering women and creating a more inclusive and equitable world. By sharing my skills, knowledge, and experiences, I inspire others to reach their full potential and break through the glass ceiling.

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