Clare is the Chief Commercial Officer of what3words; prior to this, her background was in the development and growth of social enterprises and in impact investment. Clare was featured in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list for technology and is involved with London companies tackling social/environmental challenges. Clare also volunteers with the Streetlink project, doing health outreach work with vulnerable women in South London.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
I have a brilliant colleague who I’ve worked with since I was in my early twenties. She’s always giving me excellent guidance and coaching on how to be a better leader and teammate. Recently, she spoke to me about slowing down in team situations. My natural speed is about x 2 on everything in life; I generally rush around and do things very quickly. It can feel efficient (and sometimes it is), but her advice was to think about the negative effects that speed can have. She helped me see that it can be hectic and stressful, make people feel they don’t have time to contribute or like it’s their fault for not keeping up. I’m still working on this and want to get better still, but it was incredibly valuable advice and I’ve appreciated it basically every day at work since.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
I can never seem to remember specific pieces of bad advice – I’ve been lucky enough to get so much good advice over the years.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
I think I’d echo the advice above: slow down, and think more about your behavioural wake. Surround yourself with more people who’ll give you honest feedback from a place of warmth and kindness – whenever I’ve been lucky enough to have this, it has helped me improve so rapidly.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
I love that we’re so much more tuned in to accessibility than we used to be. Voice technologies, as well as others, really open up apps and experiences that many people haven’t had access to in the past. We’ve recently seen what3words used to help people find accessible entrances to buildings, with voice-based navigation to help those who are visually impaired get to exactly the right place, or just to share the location of a disabled parking spot. I love it when tech can be used to make things more inclusive and am very hopeful about how much better we’ll get at it in the coming years.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Far too many to choose from to say the ‘biggest’ – but right now, and pretty much always, I’m feeling very inspired by my older sister, Cat. She’s an incredible entrepreneur who is working right now on a sustainable travel startup called Byway. She’s a brilliant mentor and support for me and others working in tech, and she still finds time to be an amazing parent. I love it when people say I’m like her – it’s one of the biggest compliments I could get.