Jo Scott, CMO, Lloyds
‘Back in 2019, Bloomberg published an article about us that was pretty devastating’, as explained by Jo Scott, CMO of Lloyd’s since 2020. The report shone a light on rife sexist behaviours towards women, within the Lloyd’s market. It left several senior staff members disgraced and shone a light one of the biggest reputational challenges. Despite such a systemic problem, Scott describes how Leadership at Lloyd’s were determined ‘from the get-go’. Addressing the issue of sexual harassment and drive change to prevent a repeat crisis going forward.
Creating a Safe Space
To combat the toxic work culture, ‘a safe space had to be created’. Lloyd’s opened the conversation through postal and digital campaigns to materialise those safe spaces. Helping both externally and internally.
Much like the #MeToo Movement, those with their own experiences of sexual harassment shared openly, as did allies and bystanders alike. The campaigns encouraged others to come forward and join the conversation; to take a stand.
‘Authentic leadership is crucial’, Scott explained. It meant that Lloyd’s were able to navigate a collection of catastrophic incidents in a meaningful, helpful and productive way. They clearly demonstrated that ‘taking a stand can’t be half hearted’- Lloyd’s did this by taking ownership of their errors and making contingency plans. In line with authenticity and honesty, Scott shares that data and evidence led arguments are key at Lloyd’s’, for without them, there are simply no benchmarks for progress. Lloyd’s was able to drive change because it shared mistakes and reputational challenges both publicly and internally, .
There was something refreshing about the honesty employed here as a strategy; it was genuine and raw. With the traditional PR playbook redundant – businesses can no longer bury ones’ head in the sand. Social media has given every person a voice and these voices have power, according to Scott. ‘The voices of wronged women purport the Lloyd’s brand. This is brand purpose’.
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