Life at Cleo

Here’s our 2020 Diversity and Inclusion report

*Hold ourselves accountable to this in 2021

Three fists in the air

Our mission is a big one. It’s to fight for the worlds' financial health.

To do that, we need to fight for the world.

We got to our mission with the belief that collective change starts with the individual. So let’s start from the inside.

Transparency is something we go hard on at Cleo when it comes to internal decision making and our external voice. We need to make some changes. For too long we’ve been going for our mission, unaware of the influence our unconscious biases are having in the process. We want to do better. We want to be an unflinching force for equality and fairness.

That’s why we’re making our Diversity and Inclusion report public and will be holding ourselves entirely accountable to make changes happen – *though please do feel free to call us out if we drop the ball, we want to do the most. For now, we are benchmarking ourselves against another totally anonymous London based fintech company 😏. Next year, hopefully there will be a mass of appropriate data to pit ourselves against.

We’re a company made up of humans. Good ones at that. But we’re also a company. So why as a company do we care?

There are enough statistics out there on how profitability thrives with diversity. How balanced teams deliver better output. That’s true, and it’s great. But we’re not doing this for numbers. Forget the output, we fundamentally believe that the world is a better place when all voices are heard, supported and cherished. And we know that means tipping a scale at the moment, not balancing it.

We want to rid the stigma around doing your damn best and get people feeling good about their money, regardless of the card they’ve been dealt. That means changing the world’s money relationship, not ours. We’re not in this for our own quick wins, and we’ll be putting focus on things that impact durable long-term change – hiring and supporting a team with truly diverse backgrounds, skills, experiences and opinions. We will hire with purpose.

We know we have big work to do, and a huge focus on making sure that everyone at Cleo feels their voice is valued enough to use it, all while making a conscious effort to acknowledge our biases and get new voices through the door in the first place

So, where are we at now?

Gender Identity

We do alright on a binary male to female scale, and overall. But we need to address the lack of women in Cleo tech roles, and the lack of non-binary people at Cleo overall – pushing for inclusion of non-binary people in each department and creating an environment where both women and non-binary people feel like they have as much of a voice in a meeting room as a cis man. We all know that ain’t easy.

Cleo diversity report socioeconomic figures


Right on track for our inclusion of white people, surprise - but falling short elsewhere. This is something we will be tackling head on within recruitment and inclusion inside of the business (being active, not passive. We’re not stopping at blind hiring, we will be hiring with absolute purpose).

Cleo diversity report ethnicity figures


Turns out, we’re heavy in our target audience bracket. But we do want to be inclusive and know we can learn a load of what works, and what doesn’t, from each individual. As we grow our team, especially in (but NOT limited to) leadership realms, we’ll be looking to get some 35+ers in. Good ideas don’t age, seriously.

Cleo diversity report age figures

Caring people

We have a higher % of carers than the national average. Makes sense considering we’re a pretty caring bunch. We have rolled out equal paternity and maternity pay. You can’t keep children near monitors. It’s science.

Cleo diversity report caring figures

Physical disabilities

Another big area highlighted for us, and something we’ll be focussing on when hiring our incredible team in the future. Actively. We have taken physical disability into account when on our post-covid office search and will continue to make that a priority, as well as recruitment.

Cleo diversity report disabilities figures

Sexual orientation

Cleo. Pride. 2020. No not really, that’s not our place... maybe a float. These stats are something we are truly proud of, but we’re definitely not done. Yes, we come out (please, ignore the pun) better than the benchmark, but that doesn't mean success. The numbers are still not good enough, and nor is the space we exist in. We will keep pushing and learning and growing.

Cleo diversity report LGBTQIA figures


It’s clear we don’t all need a degree to be the right fit. We’re going to get rid of degree requirements for the roles that don’t need them (like mine, hi). We have also introduced unconscious bias training for interviews and onboarding which stretches further than – but is relevant to – this downfall. You are more than your circumstances and we know that.

Cleo diversity report education figures

Socioeconomic stuff

We have more people who paid for school than the national average. Time to counterbalance by switching up the hiring process and actively forwarding the applications of those from non-fee paying/state schools. We’re also starting a scholarship program for state school pupils to attend Makers with Cleo today. Money for money and all that.

Cleo diversity report socioeconomic figures

We’re not perfect.

We never will be. But from here on out we’re going to try our damn best to do the right thing. We got together as an entire team (we’re only as strong as our weakest ally) and decided on our big focuses as a company.

What we’ve done already:

  • We’re now in the top 10% when it comes to our parental leave policy according to Charlie HR benchmark statistics. We offer a full 6 weeks off with full pay to all staff expecting, as well as a further 6 weeks at 50% pay to be taken at any time in year one of new-parent-life.
  • We have set up a committee of truly passionate people that is solely dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion. We have fortnightly check-ins and actionable outcomes to ensure that Diversity and Inclusion is embedded in our culture team-wide as we move forward.
  • We are working closely with Fearless Futures on a 6 month rotating unconscious bias training programme for 100% of employees across the business.
  • We are a founding member of YSYS and continue to support their progress connecting diverse talent into tech, partnering with them on their recent #knowyourdata campaign.

Our next big goals:

  • Go hard on increasing SocioEconomic diversity across the company – our most shocking statistic)
  • Increase diversity with big focus on engineering roles, with a female focus.
  • Improving our hiring process full stop.

Our next big moves:

  • We will start a state-school scholarship program for roles that now require degree-level qualifications for no good reason.
  • We will hire with purpose.
  • We will improve our hiring PROCESS.
  • We will hold ourselves entirely accountable.

See you in a year with numbers, and things way better than numbers.

Still have questions? Find answers below.
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Sharvin Shah is one of the brilliant new Data Scientists who have recently joined us at Cleo on the Chat 2 squad. Read more to learn about his experiences and what he's looking forward to tackling in his role.
Life at Cleo

What Do You Do? Data Scientist

Sharvin is one of the brilliant new Data Scientists who have recently joined us at Cleo. Read more to learn about his experiences and what he's looking forward to tackling in his role.


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