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GoCardless bolsters ESG efforts with two senior hires

Linda Yang

By Linda YangSep 20212 min read

GoCardless, a global fintech in account-to-account payments, has appointed Ben Knight as Head of Environmental Sustainability and Lena Tailor as Director of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in a move that strengthens its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments.

Knight, who joins GoCardless from the space and telecommunications company OneWeb, will lead the fintech’s drive towards reaching net zero as a founding member of the Tech Zero initiative. His remit includes measuring GoCardless’ environmental impact, creating a responsible roadmap for reducing the company’s carbon footprint, and embedding sustainability across the business, engaging and empowering all employees to get involved. Knight will report directly to Chief Financial Officer Catherine Birkett, the executive sponsor for GoCardless’ sustainability goals.

Knight said: “The role of fintech in the net zero transition – and wider sustainable development – is huge. I’m excited to join GoCardless, a company with commitment to this mission from the highest levels and employees that are already enthusiastic about sustainability. My aim is to develop a sector-leading strategy that is ambitious and transparent, delivers measurable change aligned with science, and helps create value for customers, society and the natural environment.”

Birkett said: “I firmly believe that all successful companies of the future need to have sustainability at the heart of their agenda. Bringing Ben onboard is a pivotal moment for GoCardless. With his leadership, we can take the first steps towards achieving net zero and fulfilling our ambitions to be part of the sustainability transformation which will undoubtedly evolve over the coming years.”

Tailor joins GoCardless from innocent drinks, where she spent nine years in various roles driving their People and Culture agenda, with a recent focus on diversity and inclusion. At GoCardless, Tailor will spearhead the company’s efforts around D&I in a structured and strategic way. This involves assessing GoCardless’ current practices, defining clear D&I objectives and a strategy to achieve them, and working hand-in-hand with the fintech’s existing four Employee Resources Groups which advocate for inclusion based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability and neurodiversity. Tailor will also partner with leaders to support progress across the employee lifecycle to enable GoCardless to attract, recruit and retain talent and proactively address any barriers.

Tailor said: "Although the tech industry is known for being innovative on many fronts, it’s currently not a leader in D&I. But, I’m confident GoCardless can pave the way because our approach so far has shown a level of commitment and investment in making real progress. In this role I hope to make diversity and inclusion inherent in how we do business and for everyone at GoCardless -- to know our strategy and talk about it with pride internally and externally; to be equipped and comfortable to have brave, safe and open conversations; and to be inspired to make big and small changes to build more diverse and inclusive environments everywhere. I’m excited to get started.”

Eva Ducruezet, Chief People Officer at GoCardless, said: “As we continue to scale quickly and internationally, attracting a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive environment where employees from all walks of life can thrive will be key to our success. I am thrilled to have Lena on board to lead our D&I efforts given her strategic approach. The focus she’ll bring will be crucial to helping us drive meaningful change.”

For more information contact: Linda Yang, Head of PR, GoCardless lyang@gocardless.com +44 (0) 7533575155

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