Charlie RosierEntrepreneur, innovator, mother. Wanting to change the world and democratize access to Early Years Education for ALL children.

Executive MBA scholar at WBS; specialising in Strategic Marketing, Big Data and Digital Innovation.  Proven founder; over the last decade I’ve built multiple businesses from start-ups to globally recognised, award-winning brands. As a passionate and driven leader, I have built teams across numerous markets including; London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.  More recently, with Cuckooz Nest, I have driven innovation in the child care sector and have been featured in multiple publications from Forbes magazine to BBC News. Babbu is my latest venture, set to launch summer 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am the eldest of four girls, and mother to one – so am a passionate advocate for women.  My professional background is a little ‘Jack-Of-All-Trades’ having completed a Law Degree then moved into Real Estate development, then investment, which took me overseas to Hong Kong for several years.  In 2013, having always had an entrepreneurial spirit, I started my first company where I led teams across HK, Kuala Lumpur and China.  In 2016 I started my second business in London, and then a few months later my daughter arrived.  On the back of this, my interests changed dramatically, no-longer about Real Estate, but Early Childhood development.  Driven purely by my own experience, I opened London’s first fully-flexible, Pay-As-You-Go nursery and workspace.  Witnessing first hand how the interactions you have with your child in those first few years, go on to have such an impact on their later life, I wanted to make Early Years Education more accessible – simply by making it flexible.  Two years later, I realised it would need to be digital if it was to truly have an impact.  So in 2020, fuelled by a Pandemic which had transformed the way education is delivered and consumed, I started working on the idea for Babbu – A Digital Nursery™ open to everyone!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

As evident by my answer above – NO!  I am a firm believer in education, and that we should be life-long learners.  Since studying Law I have also completed a MSc in Project Management and am currently studying a part-time Executive MBA.  My career from 2008 – 2018 was very opportunity-led.  I think because I ‘fell-into’ Real Estate, I let myself be carried along in that sector.  I guess it was only becoming a mother, that I found my ‘purpose’.  Since then I have been much more strategic, considered and visionary in my career approach.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

When attempting something new, it’s always going to be a challenge.  I think my strategy to overcome any challenge, has always been to face them head-on.  Unfortunately, I thrive off a challenge, I am geared to find solutions.  I love a win: win.  This isn’t to say I am not sometimes overwhelmed by the task ahead, or sometimes filled with self-doubt.  However I personally find surrounding myself with Can-Do people is very helpful.  There’s always a way around, as long as you stay focused on what you are trying to achieve and believe in what you are doing, I think you’ll find a way to overcome any challenge.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I feel grateful to have had many, and also to those people around me that remind me to celebrate them!  Starting a business from scratch, convincing investors and employees to jump on board, generating revenue, customer satisfaction, working for yourself – these are all things I would consider ‘success’.  Then you have the other things like press coverage, awards, speaker engagements, which all add to that feeling of being ‘proud’ about what you are doing, or at least being validated.  However my biggest achievement is my current venture – in the space of 12 months I have learnt an insane amount about the world of Tech, AI Machine Learning, etc. I also believe we can have a transformational impact on society, not many people are fortunate enough to be able to say that about what they do.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

The same thing all people say, I’m sure!  Hard work, determination, a bit of luck.  I also think that my love of learning has helped me tremendously as I am unafraid to say ‘I don’t know’, and to ask the question(s).  I am also extremely stubborn, tenacious, ambitious and unafraid of failure.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Find good mentors, who you can ask stupid questions of.  Read. Network. Try & Try Again.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I think, or at least hope, we are moving in the right direction as a society (certainly here in the UK) towards gender equality in the workplace.  There are several issues which hold women back, as an example the cost of childcare which is a huge barrier to women in work; but also sadly things like ‘Imposter Syndrome’ which can negatively impact women.  Looking specifically at Women in Tech, I think it’s partly to do with the perceived image of the tech sector, but more importantly not promoting STEM in the Early Years or in Primary education.  Sadly I think the industry needs to do more to promote successful women in the sector, to give mentoring opportunities, and get involved in Early Years education, so parents and carers know how to develop these critical skills.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

I think the same rules apply to any women in business.  Create a space where they can be heard.  Build a network of genuine support – mentoring, coaching, training etc. and recognise gender bias in the workplace.

There are currently only 21 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Invest in women.  As a female founder, I am all too aware of the bias from investors when it comes to raising venture capital.  Women are equally talented, ambitious, creative, visionary, strategic etc – but without the means to get a seat at the table, this can all fall by the wayside.  We need to remove gender stereotypes from birth, we need to champion equal access – to education, to support, to investment, to opportunity.  We need to talk less and do more.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Women Who Code, Mother Coders, Girls In Tech, Women In Tech, She Too STEM, She Talks Tech, Her STEM Story, Women Tech Charge, We Are Radikl, Tech Ladies, We Fund Women. There are so many resources, but I would also strongly recommend reaching out to successful men and women and not being afraid to ask – for an introduction, for investment, for advice.  I’ve actually been amazed by the support that is out there, if you look for it.