Inspiring Inclusion: Carlesha Whyte

06 March 2024 News Read time 4m
Carlesha Whyte


This International Women's Day, we’re proud to shine a spotlight on the remarkable women within our organisation who continue to inspire us all. As part of our commitment to inspire inclusion, Zandria Dias and Charlene Manyakaidze (BeTogether network - BT) had the privilege of interviewing influential women at Close Brothers Premium Finance.

Through insightful conversations, they explored their career journeys, the importance of inspiring inclusion, and the valuable advice they would offer to young women embarking on their own professional paths.


In the first instalment of our Inspiring Inclusion series, we have Business Operations Team Manager, Carlesha Whyte.



BT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself outside the work environment?

CW: In my spare time I enjoy caring for my plants as that is a current passion of mine, I have about 30 of them to look after. I also enjoy looking up new cooking recipes to try out and watching movies. I currently don’t have any kids, but my husband and I will be looking to expand our family in the near future.


BT: What was your first role within Close Brothers and what route did you take to get to your current position? 

CW: I was a part time call agent when I first started at Close Brothers in 2021. In my previous company I was in management for just over 12 years. When I first started at Close Brothers, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back into management and what my next career step would be. I eventually became a full-time call agent and approached my line manager about wanting to progress. I received great support, which led to progressing into a successful role as a deputy manager in one of the call teams. 3 months after this I progressed again to Business Operations Team Leader for one of the email/imail teams. I have been in my current role for just over a year and loving it! I’m looking forward to what the next year will hold for me.



BT: What challenges (if any) did you encounter during your career progression and how did you overcome them? 

CW: One of the main challenges I faced going back into a management role was imposter syndrome, especially as I wasn’t certain that I would go back into a role like this. However, with support from my line manager, who put me forward for courses and coaching sessions, I have been able to overcome imposter syndrome and really lean into my main strength of people management.


BT: What advice would you give to young women who are starting out their career?

CW: I’d advise young women who are starting out in their career to set themselves 2 or 3 main goals as part of a 2–3-year plan. This will allow them to focus on what resources they would need to achieve these goals. I’d also advise them to have patience with themselves and others around them and to trust the process. I’d encourage them to ask for help and seize every opportunity presented to them! It sounds basic but I would also advise to be kind to everyone as it goes a long way and you never who you maybe be collaborating with in the future.



BT: The theme for this year’s international women’s day is ‘Inspire Inclusion’. How can we better achieve this within the business? 

CW: I think we can achieve this by creating more opportunities for woman across the business who can work collaboratively on different projects. This will further help women to enter into spaces they may not have had access to before. 


BT: Who are your role models and why? 

CW: My role models are working mums. They work so hard not only for themselves but for their families and very rarely look for a reward for doing this job. As I am now looking to enter this stage of life soon, I’m now more aware of all that the mothers in my life and what they’ve done for their families.



BT: When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing? 

CW: When I’m not working, I enjoy spending with my family and friends, creating great memories and just taking it easy as life can get stressful at times. 


BT: What would your number one film/book/TV recommendation be?

CW: One of my favourite films is Pretty Woman (I watch it every year without fail) and one of my favourite books is Violin by Anne Rice – I would recommend these as they both feature strong female leads who must go on a journey to discover what they want out of life and how they want to present themselves to the world.  



BT: If you could have dinner with three female leaders, dead or alive, who would you pick?  

CW: I’d pick Maya Angelou as I love her poetry, Nina Simone as I love her voice/ music and what she stood for and Eartha Kitt as she was just unapologetically herself.



BT: Could you share your favourite quote around female empowerment/inclusion? 

CW: My favourite quote around female empowerment is “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” Maya Angelou 



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