Inspiring Inclusion: Manuela Caldari

11 March 2024 News Read time 3m
Manuela Caldari


At Close Brothers Premium Finance, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment. As part of this effort, Zandria Dias and Charlene Manyakaidze (BeTogether network - BT) had the valuable opportunity to conduct interviews with influential women, shedding light on their career journeys and the significance of inspiring inclusion.

In the next instalment of our Inspiring Inclusion series, we’re privileged to feature Manuela Caldari, our Head of Governance, Risk and Control. Manuela gives an inspiring account of her experiences and the wisdom she imparts to young women embarking on their own professional paths.


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

MC: I’m married and have two children. Although I'd love to have a dog, I'm currently trying to convince my husband, albeit unsuccessfully. In the past, I've cared for fish and hamsters.


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

MC: My first role at Close Brothers was as a Financial Operations Manager in the Premium division. Prior to that, I spent nine years at PwC, where I worked as a Finance Executive specialising in tax M&A.


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

MC: Throughout my career progression, I've been fortunate to not encounter many major/critical challenges. However, I recognise that career advancement can sometimes be influenced not only by one's abilities and skills but also by the support of sponsors. I've had the privilege of working with great leaders. I've always managed to reach my desired goals.


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

MC: My advice to young women starting their careers would be: Never be afraid to be yourself and to stand by your beliefs. Every decision you make shapes your path, so be mindful of your actions and accept the consequences. Embracing who you are will empower you to navigate your career journey with confidence.


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

MC: To achieve this theme within Close, it's crucial to provide everyone with a voice and involve them in decision-making processes.


BT: Who are your role models and why?

MC: My role models are everyone around me. I believe there's something to learn from every individual, and humility allows us to observe greatness in others, leading to personal growth. While I've had fantastic mentors, coaches, friends, and family supporting me, my rock is my mum. I deeply trust her, and her support is irreplaceable.

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

MC: As a former professional water polo swimmer, I faced challenges finding a team after moving to the UK. However, two years ago, I decided to renew my passion and joined the Master Kings club in Wimbledon. Currently, I'm training to cross the IT Channel in June.


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

MC: I love reading, so I don't have a specific favourite book; I love them all. Surprisingly, I don't watch TV often, but my friends convinced me to watch "The Crown" series to improve my English accent. However, that was unsuccessful, leading me to watch "Bridgerton" instead, much to our amusement.


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

MC: If I could have dinner with three female leaders, dead or alive, I would choose Margaret Thatcher to learn about her influencing skills, Maria Teresa for her ability to foster peace, and my auntie for her entrepreneurial strength.

BT: Not a question, but please can you share your favourite quote around female empowerment/inclusion?

MC: “If you really believe in what you do…Never, ever give up… the results will come”

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