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We Rise By Lifting Others

A proud South Londoner of Bangladeshi and Irish heritage, Joy Crookes is a multihyphenate artist shaped by a rich tapestry of influences. She’s a singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist. In 2020, Joy made the prestigious BRITS Rising Star Award shortlist, as well as placing fourth on the BBC Sound Poll, and headlining ‘ones to watch’ lists from YouTube Music, Amazon Music, MTV Push, NME and beyond. Renowned for her live performances, Joy has played Glastonbury, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Later…With Jools Holland, as well as selling out her own headline tours across the UK and Europe.


Makala Green

Makala Green is the first black female chartered financial planner in the UK and was the first black female to set up a financial practice in SJP. Makala started her banking career at the age of 16 and progressed through various roles before becoming a qualified financial adviser at 21.


"Women bring a completely different edge to the finance industry. I recently became the first black female chartered financial planner in the UK, and that was a monumental achievement. I now use that as a platform to encourage more young females to enter into the financial industry. We still have a long way to go."


Sponsor Makala Green for The Female Lead by Sane Seven small.jpg

I grew up in a council estate in East London and I say that with pride. It was a very close-knit community as everyone looked out for each other. I come from a very large family, the best way to describe them would be: love and strength. My family taught me how to be a fighter and to always fight for what I believe in.


In school I was very serious about education whilst also having fun. I had a lot of friends and I was very popular so I had a great time. My greatest ambition was to become a doctor but later in my path I felt within my gut that it wasn't the right thing for me. It didn't map out to be what it had seemed at the start. 


I searched around for a part time position and came across a bank. I applied and had no idea that I would end up getting a position within the bank. From there it was just a learning curve, it was a great industry that I embraced from an early age. I was able to climb the corporate ladder quite quickly within the profession.


I went in as a cashier and I always tell people: "I started off from ground zero". I worked my way up to the top. I was in that position for two years moving onto various other roles within the bank until ultimately, I became a financial planner.


I would say I owe my success to three things. I'm a believer so God is important to me, I always follow my heart and I come from a very love-strong family which gave me a great solid foundation. In addition to that, in my early years in the profession, I met a woman by the name of Irene who became almost like my corporate mum. She taught me how to be a boss and a female leader in a very heavily male dominated industry. It allowed me to be fearless and it gave me the courage to make changes in the industry.


What do I love most about my job? Absolutely everything. Meeting different people really excites me. I love talking and helping people achieve their goals, their dreams, their ambitions and being able to bring that to life for them is a great joy for me.


It's a profession that is still heavily male dominated and women only make up (especially within the financial advisor sector) 15% of the industry. So, I would say, carry your head on your shoulders, have a great strong belief about what you can bring to the table and own it! Own everything that you do.


I recently became the first black female chartered financial planner in the UK which was a monumental achievement for me. I use that as a platform to encourage more young females to enter into the financial industry as I still feel we have a long way to go.


There will be so many beneficial differences with more women in the industry as women advise completely differently to men. They have a more consulting, or should I say counselling, approach to financial planning and that brings about a whole different aspect as clients, customers and people open-up about their dreams and ambitions. Finance is a lot more than just money and numbers, it's about what you really want to get out of life. 

The advice I would give my teenage self is: 'be comfortable in being uncomfortable". That would have been a game-changer for me when I was a teenager. 

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