Continuing our series of profiles of women of colour making their mark in business and across industry. Meet Gurjeet Moore; Manager, Financial Crime Compliance Oversight & Advisory at Santander UK as well as Network Chair of Santander’s BAME network. Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres.
Briefly describe your current job responsibilities.
I am part of a team who are responsible for ensuring the retail bank complies with UK legislation and internal policies on Financial Crime, in order to keep our customers and business safe.
No two days are the same but typically I check and challenge the retail bank’s policies and processes for Financial Crime. I provide SME advice on Financial crime risks and preventative measures. It also means that I must keep up to date on legislation change and UK guidance on Financial Crime.
I also lead the banks BAME diversity network called Ethnicity@work, this involves creating a strategy for the network. Holding impactful events, facilitating focus groups, participating in mentoring, recognising internal role models. The network currently has over 700 members and a leadership team made up of eight people.
I also participate in Santander’s ‘Career Ready’ mentoring programme, I have just finished my first year of mentoring a sixth former. I have monthly meetings with him to support him with preparing for interviews, job applications or just dealing with conflict.
What were the key decision points that were important in deciding your career path?
I’m passionate about motivating, developing, coaching and leading people. When I worked as a paralegal I was given the opportunity to manage a small team which really ignited my passion for leadership. I love the sense of pride it gives me to see people grow, develop and achieve things they didn’t think they could.
I have always been interested in legislation but my interest in Financial Crime came from attending a seminar on human trafficking and Financial Crime. It was eye opening and very emotive, I became interested in making a difference and driving change in this space.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
In my Financial Crime role – There are so many opportunities within my area to drive change and work collaboratively with colleagues to drive efficiency. I work in a very supportive and growing area so the learning opportunities are vast.
In my network role – meeting inspirational individuals within Santander and also externally, I really enjoy hearing peoples stories and learning from them.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work? What strategies have you developed for tackling that challenge?
The number of workstreams I have to manage on a daily basis, all of which have business critical deadlines. I always make a plan at the start of each day to ensure I focus and prioritise. Also making strong connections with colleagues/stakeholders to drive collaboration is also a key support. It is also very important to have a growth mindset and learn from mistakes made each day, refocus on how to improve and be more efficient.
What has been the most defining moment in your career to date?
Launching and leading Santander’s BAME network, having no experience in leading a network or in diversity. With the support of the networks passionate leadership team, we planned and executed launch events, created BAME champions across the bank, held speaker events, roundtable discussions and hosted speed-mentoring programmes to raise awareness of BAME colleague challenges and opportunities.
Additionally, we worked with external partners ‘Business in The Community’ and ‘EMpower’ to put over 30 colleagues through cross-industry BAME mentoring programmes. All this hard work and commitment has helped the bank to be recognized as a top employer for Race in ‘Business in The Community Race for Employer’ benchmark 2017. As a team, we have achieved a lot that we can be proud of and have a really strong base to continue with delivering some impactful events throughout 2018.
I was also recently recognized as one of Brummell Magazines 30 ones to watch and #2 in the Financial Times Empower future leaders and role models listing. This is something I am so proud of and will continue to lead and drive the BAME agenda forward.
Who is the industry figure that you admire? Why is this?
Our Chairman Shriti Vadera, having met her a couple of weeks ago I can say she is very inspirational. She is authentic and has overcome obstacles to get where she is today. She has accomplished a great deal as a woman who is also BAME and continues to win awards for her achievements.
Best piece of career advice you have ever received? And who was it from?
‘if you want something in life, you have to go and get it, no one will give it to you’ This advice was from my Dad he is a successful entrepreneur who has a work hard and achieve ethos.
He has never let anyone stop him from achieving his goals. I have come across so many talented people who are waiting for someone to give them a break but you have to put your hand up and ask for opportunities in order to be able to show what you can do. You also have to learn from setbacks in order to grown and become batter.
Away from your work role what are your passions?
I love to work out at the gym and go for runs with my dog, I find it really helps me re-focus and relax.
I also love travelling and exploring new cultures, in the past five years I have been to Thailand, Singapore, Dubai, Vietnam (twice), Miami, Bali, Hong Kong, Macau, Madrid, Barcelona to name a few!
I am also very passionate about giving back to people who are less fortunate than me, so I always send money to India to pay for people to have medical treatment, get married, get educated or put on free meal.
What are the 3 (professional or personal) books/websites/ or resources that you would recommend to others?
This article in The Times which really resonated with me. It talks about being true to yourself, not shying away from being a rebel! https://bit.ly/2KBRcMY
• I recently attended a workshop and had the pleasure of watching a keynote speaker called Carla Harris speak. Carla was very passionate and some of the key things I came away with was ‘Perception is the co-pilot of reality’ This is something I really believe in, your personal brand is so important and you have to be self-aware. She has a website called ‘Carla’s Pearls’, two books and a number of youtube videos people can watch for hints and tips.
• The book ‘Mindset – changing the way you think to fulfil your potential’ by Dr Carol s Dweck, talks about ‘growth’ vs ‘fixed’ mindset. It is very insightful and can help you re-focus your strategy on how to approach situations in your career.
What do you know now, that you wish you had known as you started your career?
That it’s ok to make mistakes, grow, develop and trip up. Every development is an opportunity to strengthen your ability and don’t be afraid of that. I always had such high standards for myself so not getting things right first time really frustrated me. But now I see it as an opportunity to grow, make myself better and embrace challenge.
Do you have any advice for women entering your industry?
Absolutely be yourself, don’t change your core beliefs or vision for anyone. Put your hand up and ask for opportunities and then take them when they come your way!… Don’t put barriers up, always ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen – normally you won’t be worse off than you are right now.
If you weren’t in this role what would be your alternative career?
I really enjoy giving back and supporting people so I would be either building schools, orphanages and providing aid to those less fortunate. Or I would be working with disadvantaged youth to help them establish a career or set up a business.
Connect with Gurjeet on Linkedin here