April 4, 2021

Jacqueline De Rojas President TechUK


“If we are to thrive in a digital future which includes everybody, we must ensure that we have all of our voices heard when it comes to designing technology.”

Jacqueline is the President of techUK and the co-chair at the Institute of Coding.

She sits as a Non-Executive Director on the board of UK technology business Rightmove PLC, on the board of Costain PLC, which is committed to solving the nation’s Infrastructure problems; and also rebalanced her portfolio towards skills by joining the board of professional services provider FDM Group PLC.

She was awarded CBE in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Honours 2018 for services to International Trade in Technology.

(Photo credit Gareth Catermole)

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Some Timestamps:

An advocate for diversity and inclusion. (00:03:09)

Why did that make your blood boil? (00:06:46)

A little bit of your background (00:07:33)

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xxxxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx (00:39:39)

xxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xx. xxxxxx xxxxxx x x x xxxxxx (01:46:17)



Edited Transcription with typos – sorry:

Eitan Chitayat: (00:00:03)
Welcome, Jacqueline. It’s so nice to have you on the show. I’d love to introduce everybody. What an amazing guest. I have an incredible soul and incredible spirit, but I’m going to read out your bio, because it’s just unbelievable. So Jacqueline is the president of tech UK and the co chair at the Institute of coding. Jacqueline’s, a non executive director on the board of the United Kingdom’s right move and is on the board of Costain, which is all about solving the United Kingdom’s infrastructure problems. She also sits on the board of the FTM group, which is a professional services provider. She’s a business mentor, americh, an advisor to the Board of accelerate her and a supporter of the Girlguiding Association for technology transformation. As if that wasn’t enough. In 2016, she entered the computer weekly hall of fame after being voted computer weekly, his most influential woman in it in 2015. She’s listed on the Debrett’s 2016 500 people of influence, and she’s been named in your 50 most inspiring female role models for 2017. And as if that was enough to top it off, Jacqueline was honored as CBE for services to international trade and technology in the Queen’s New Year honors first 2018. And Jacqueline has said, if we are to thrive in a digital future, we must ensure that we have all of our voices heard when it comes to designing technology? If we do not, we risk creating a world, which is for the few and not for the many. Wow, Jacqueline, just welcome. And thank you for being here on my first ever podcast.

Jacqueline de Rojas 2:18
I’m so excited to be here. And I love the fact that this is all new to you. And, and that our relationship is so amazing. And born out of lockdown. And just great to be here all because you’ve made that amazing video, by the way.

Eitan Chitayat 2:38
Thank you. Well, I appreciate it with your amazing. Um, I’m gonna start this off by asking you a question. Really right. Before we begin, or to begin, and the question goes like this, can you please just complete the sentence for me? I’m that…?

Jacqueline de Rojas 2:55
Advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Eitan Chitayat 2:59
So you have to you have to tell all of us a little bit more about that. Because I know you believe very strongly in that.

Jacqueline de Rojas 3:09
Well, you know, I think it has I’ve spent my whole life in technology, which is arguably a very male dominated profession, we have somewhere between 18 and 19% of women in tech, and 10% in cyber 6% are engineers, it’s very low numbers. And I worry that if we don’t have all our voices around the table, when we are building technology, we are going to create a world that doesn’t work for everyone. So think about it, if an algorithm is going to decide with the you get that job interview that plays that university, that loan, we better make sure that we’ve got diverse voices, building that technology, because it won’t reflect the society that we try to serve. And I think that that’s why diversity really matters. Of course, it’s also a noble cause and for diverse teams make better business decisions 87% of the time, but the fact that we are so dependent on technology now and and the pandemic has really made it so that we are much more dependent on that. But we’ve got to make sure the tech we use is responsible and built by everyone for everyone.

Eitan Chitayat 4:30
So why you? I mean, why has this become your calling? I’ve been curious about that for a while since we’ve gotten to know each other like I, I know what you stand for. But why you

Jacqueline de Rojas 4:43
Okay, so my first answer is gonna be if not me, then who? So I’m just gonna put that out there. You know, in terms of diversity. I think the greatest threat to diversity is a belief that somebody else is going to fix it and that we all have a part to play to be that little bit more inclusive when faced with someone who’s a bit different, eats differently works differently, it’s really important that we all understand we have a part to play. But I think outside of that, I’ve experienced some of the worst cases of misogyny, I would say, inside my tech career. I mean, in 1999, I went up for a promotion. And I was up against a male colleague, and he got the job, he had 30 times less experience than me 30 times less responsibility to meet. He got it. When I asked for feedback, I was called, definitely, we simply don’t put women on the leadership team. And you know what, I was told that someone had said that out loud. But on the other hand, there’s always a miracle isn’t that? And even though I had to defer this miracle quite deep, what I what I said to myself was, well, at least he told me, because you know, what, if I’ve been banging my head against the glass ceiling for another five years, I think I really would have been so upset.

Eitan Chitayat 6:09
What happened when I mean, first of all shock and horror, I imagine when he said that, but it’s not something that I imagine came as a surprise, maybe it came as a surprise how blunt and forthright he was about it, but But how did you deal with? Like, my blood would have been boiling? And I’m a man, I can’t imagine. I really can’t imagine someone saying that to me. And I certainly can’t imagine what it felt like, how did that? Was that kind of like the moment that was the moment?

Jacqueline de Rojas 6:46
Yeah, I think it was actually, I mean, I resigned next day, well, I don’t think I was angry. I’m not an angry person, per se. I always feel there is a shorter route, that’s better. And I just don’t carry that stuff around with me, I felt a need to go inside my own job as a managing director somewhere else, which I did, by the way, and probably got imposter syndrome, because I didn’t know Managing Director did. But I think it set me on my journey. And that energy that I could have used as anger, I just repurpose is something which powered me forward, frankly. And, and that was the effect it has on me, I don’t tend to use anger as a way forward. So

Eitan Chitayat 7:33
maybe you can give us a little bit of your background and just, you know, the highlights your career to date. And I mean, I know I introduced you, but there’s nothing like hearing it from from you. Um, maybe you could just tell us a little bit more about yourself before we get to some more questions.

Jacqueline de Rojas 7:49
Yeah. So well, I’m half Chinese. I grew up in a small seaside town, in the south of England, and the garden of England, we call it and my mother was married to my Chinese father, he was a very violent man, actually. And so I spent my childhood trying to be invisible. My mother bore the brunt of that. And she had a black eye every week. So you know, when you’re a child trying to be unseen, it’s a very different childhood, who lots of others and we left, we ran away, we were given money by the Catholic priests to run away when I was sick. And then my mother remarried, when I was about eight or nine. And she married my stepfather, who was not a terribly well educated carpenter. And he was overly interested in me and not a very fatherly way. And that made my childhood pretty miserable until I got to the age of 16, actually, and I came home with my exam results, very excited to be on the lope. And he ripped out my hand and said, what I said, my exam results, and he ripped them open. And I thought I did rather well at school because I felt safe at school. And he said, You’ve got eight days, nine A’s and a B, something like that. What are you trying to do? Are you trying to show me up? And you know, for kids, things just kind of flown under the radar all of her life and then suddenly to be confronted with this, it felt like a fork in the road, which was saying to me, you know, I could be like you and remain unseen. Or I could show you how much potential I can unlock. And I have to say, I spent my whole life trying to turn my stepfather what, what amazing things I could achieve. And when you read out that Roll Call of things that I’ve achieved in my life, you know, it wasn’t always like that. And I think when you build that sort of independence, you know, there’s no one to rely on when you build that resilience, you know your best when you’re in a corner because you’re a survivor. And those things I took with me and I learned how to get through life in a really? Yeah, independent and resilient way. And that, that being good setup fee until I started work.

Eitan Chitayat 10:23
So that motivation that you had, is this the adult jacquelene? Looking back? And it’s kind of like in hindsight, or was that something that as you were going through what you’re going through and building your career? Is that something that was? Was it conscious? Was it subconscious?

Jacqueline de Rojas 10:44
Good question, I did a lot of self development when I was 18. On, you know, my getting rid of my baggage and just trying to figure out who I was and why I was here. So I think I did work through quite a lot of that, at age 18, up until about 30. And then, you know, I don’t know if I called it, all the things I’ve just called it, but I did know, there was no one else to rely on. And I did know it was just me. So I relied on my own resources to get where I needed to go. And I found myself a basic university, I was the first of my family to go to university and I went to Germany, actually, the furthest place I could think of and came back to London and with offered a job in technology recruitment, I definitely believe that great leaders are one where vulnerability is an asset is your fortress, if you will. I think it gives other people space, to step up to step in base for them to be amazing base for you to step back and say, You don’t have all the great ideas, I’m not going to lie and say there wasn’t a period in my life where I was pretty alpha, in the way I lead teams, the way I drove, you know the energy in my team and but, you know, when you cross the chasm from manager to leader, there is something about giving the floor to someone else. Creating and holding the tension, so that you can lift other people up is so much more fulfilling. And actually, it’s the only way to scale an organization if you can’t have your fingerprints on everything, and I learned that when I started to get into bigger and bigger businesses, and I think at that point, I understood that sharing my story was something that would energize other people and also helped me not to drag it around as baggage. So I’m going to say I think that was probably in the 15 years ago, something like that. So a few gray hairs to help you to be more confident in being more honest, perhaps about your life and your story and how much of it you want to

Eitan Chitayat 13:19
do. It’s It’s funny, listening to you say that you give I from experience I in a different way, having made a film or two that resonated with with with, you know, with the Jewish people or with women or other things that I’ve done. It’s the it’s the feedback that I get. It’s the responses that I still get to this day. The gratitude, not like Oh, thank you, but like the feeling that you’ve really made a difference. And I kind of do that in in you.

Jacqueline de Rojas 14:02
Funny, isn’t it? I did. I went on a 10 day negotiation course it’s all about nonviolent communication. And I went because my husband and I met the Dalai Lama, very briefly in in Brussels. And not as grand as it sounds. It just was a moment. And he said you should meet my friend Godfrey and we trotted off to meet his friend Godfrey because who questions the Dalai Lama? Anyway, he was holding this course called nonviolent communication in in a workshop and then another 10 day course in France that he was part of it was the most mind blowing 10 days I’ve ever spent looking at what makes people tick now language methods and, you know, the top two things that people need in situation which is or, you know, at odds with each other two things. One is humans need to be heard, really heard really listened to. And secondly, that they have a massive need, we all have a massive need to feel significant. And it’s so freeing to be in meetings, it could be board meetings, it could be, you know, lightly edgy conversations with my husband in the kitchen. And then I write, okay, he needs to be heard, he needs to feel significant. And it’s so amazing when, as a leader, as a human, you get to understand that and put yourself in the position of giving people the law to be who they need to be, and giving them that cause. For reflection,

Eitan Chitayat 15:54
I feel that this podcast could be like five and a half hours. I have some questions here. And I’m just going to get to them because I have so many that are not on the list suddenly. But I do I do want to ask you a couple of things.

Unknown Speaker 16:08

Eitan Chitayat 16:10
I want to ask you, and it can be personal or professional. What have you been like? What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do?

Jacqueline de Rojas 16:22
That question, isn’t it? Probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. I think he’s letting someone go from a job that really matters to them. When I say that, in the floor, because I’ve had to do it a number of times, you know, I’m a troubleshooter, the fast growing tech businesses. So, you know, it’s not always easy to maintain the team ad infinitum. So, you know, people that I have really liked, and enjoyed and loved, I’ve had to let go. And I think that that’s really hard, because now I understand that I’m impacting people’s lives. And I like to do that with dignity. And that’s not always an easy thing to do. So that I would say, is really difficult. But it does teach you compassion, as a leader does teach us to be, you know, time and thoughtful about their next feature.

Eitan Chitayat 17:32
I was gonna ask you, if there’s any wisdom you can share, but I guess that’s it right there compassion and kindness and hearing people and all the things that you’ve said, and making them feel seen in a very traumatic experience for them. Yeah. Yeah. That is difficult. Um, what are you good at? Like, what are you really good at? What are you really amazing, am

Jacqueline de Rojas 18:02
I right, at creating moments, creating memories with our family. So let me give you an example. Yeah. Christmas time, I will create a calendar events for the forthcoming year. So you also get some things little gifts. But actually, the big gifts of big moments are when we as a family, we can, you know, come together on eight to 10 dates a year. And one might be, I don’t know, a yoga class under the skeleton of the blue whale at the Natural History Museum in London, or a baking class together, or we went to an edge here in concert. Also, it was so magical, and Andrea Vitaly was singing through creating those magical moments. And we call our our whatsapp group, our family what whatsapp group is called magical people. And it’s all about sharing magical moments together. And, and I’m good at that. And we are good at that as a family at creating that. Magic that moment and bear in mind, I’m a stepmom. So I have two, two sons are grown up sons from my my marriage, Nadia, and and Stephanie, who’s who’s my daughter. And being a step parent that both Raj and I it’s not, it’s not straightforward. And so we have spent decades making absolutely sure that we have created this impossible to break nucleus of the family. And, you know, the best thing that ever happened to me was when my stepsons gave me a Mother’s Day card because that was the moment I really felt I’d made it Have you really achieved and really earned my stripes? And, and you know what it is? If you ask me what I’m really good at, I’m really good at bringing family together. Family is everything to me and family to the community. And so I hold that very dear. Something,

Eitan Chitayat 20:19
you know, that’s that’s just, you can’t help but think about your background and where you came from, and how broken that was. And yet here you are playing the things that you say and doing the things that you do. Does it come naturally to you? Is it is it something that does you decided I’m going to, I’m not going to have that I’m going to have something else.

Jacqueline de Rojas 20:44
You know, my fear of failure is so high that I really hard at it. So I was absolutely, if I was still worth anything, it was that I was not going to have my kids feel like their home, their family life was broken. That was not going to happen for me. And so we, you know, together, we’ve all worked really hard. And I cherish that.

Eitan Chitayat 21:16
You mentioned right now your fear of failure. And I just looked at you and it’s like, this woman can’t really fail at anything. But do you still have that? I mean, I would, I would, I would expect that. Okay, that it comes with a lot of pros, obviously. And I think I, I suffer from the same thing. But at the same time. So it’s got lots of pros and lots of cons. But is that something that you’ve learned to? To handle? Because it can be amazing, but it can be pretty debilitating as well, in many ways. For me at least, I’d like to hear about that fear of failure.

Jacqueline de Rojas 21:54
Yeah, I think I reframe it. Is there any failure anymore? I think there’s only success or learning. And when I reframe it as learning, I tend to you know, if you ask me a question, what have you failed at? I probably wouldn’t be able to answer it, because I would have learned something, and I would not classify it as failure. So I think that’s quite interesting and amusing as well. We do I feel, though, that I’m sometimes going to be found out. Yeah. All the time. Am I immensely frightened of failing? Yes. Does it stop me doing things? Like take risks? No, it doesn’t. But it does make me prepare. Probably more than the average human. Yeah, you know, and it’s an I’m a double checker. I, you know, I very few things and to go wrong, because I, yeah, I don’t, I don’t have room in my life at that time for it.

Eitan Chitayat 22:56
So people can’t see you. Because this is not this is gonna be audio. But you’ve, you look incredible. You’re very put together you have these great classes you got you got that this is the necklace and your room behind you is just, you’re very put together and I imagine you’re like hyper organized. And I’m a Virgo. So I’m, I’m, you know, one of my business guy says, you know, along the deadlines, and I’m super process oriented with with the creative crazy side as well. Are you just like a very organized person.

Jacqueline de Rojas 23:35
I am very organized. But you know, one of my amazing role models and icon is Audrey Hepburn. And what I love about her is always manages to do things that are effortlessly elegant. And I learned very early when I started to watch her films and I started to learn about her as a humanitarian, because he’s got so many signs that he just does everything effortlessly elegantly. And I wanted to be like, well, that’s what I strive for.

Eitan Chitayat 24:13
Well, okay, now I know because you are again doing really well I mean even your hair right now it’s like people can’t see it’s it’s a little disheveled, but it’s disheveled perfectly. It’s like It’s like you’ve got I’m very hyper aware of these things. So and actually one of my questions were who and you started this already so let’s continue who the one two or three people who have influenced you who have most influenced you who you look up to who you respect to a role models to you or who just you know, turn you on with with their what they bring to the world.

Jacqueline de Rojas 24:50
Yeah, well, as I said Audrey Hepburn foreshore not because he was beautiful as well. Nearly but That he was a massive ambassador for children, for those children from very poor countries through the bay humanitarian, and, you know, I just love the way she’s got to lead her life. So what do you have them would be number one. Number two, my mother, who is the most extraordinary person, he has come through a life. Both battered and bruised and come out the other end, a glorious, a glorious mom, a glorious human, being now sadly has dementia. And I see her every couple of weeks now. And it look at someone who has suffered so much that has come through all of that without feeling better, with a sense of humor. With that sense of family, just extraordinary and so much love there. So see would be my number two. I think my number three would probably be my daughter. Because despite the small but to be fair, and relatively confident, and worldly, wise, climate oriented, generous, very family oriented as well, and just the person that you want to fall in love with all day long. How old is she? 28. Wow. Yeah, differentiate and see, he was an actor. So she was in musical theater, performed in Spain, and touring. And then pandemic hits the five her agents and tree and her two well being and is an amazing warrior fitness coach. So yeah, the, the battering me at least four times a week in the gym,

Eitan Chitayat 27:01
as they should, as she said, I wish she’d better me, because I need to, I need to get in shape. It’s terrible. I’m just sitting down to too often in this in this area. You had said also before, what you’re very good at? And, of course, I’m going to ask you what you’re absolutely awful.

Jacqueline de Rojas 27:26
I’m awful at putting my phone down. Yes, my need to be connected and know what’s going on. Is just in sane. And yeah, I’m terrible.

Eitan Chitayat 27:45
And worse now, right with with everything that’s been happening with the pandemic and being stuck at home. Yeah, I mean, have you tried to like, you know, some type of a smartphone intervention? Have you tried to kind of, because I actually I did that around two years ago and actually wrote an article. I don’t know if I sent it to you if I didn’t, I will. And it was picked up by quartz Atlantic and they ran an article about how I tried to wean myself off smartphone addiction, which I managed to do. And, and then kind of like it got, you know, digressed a little bit and then this happened. And I’m just like, it’s it’s like glue. It’s stuck in my hand again, and I hate it.

Jacqueline de Rojas 28:31
Yeah, I don’t know if I hate it. And therein lies the problem. I like it. I am married to a man who is trained as a yoga and meditation teacher. So we do meditate every day. And that very helpful. That does help me clear my mind.

Eitan Chitayat 28:55
Like nag you to get off your phone. You see, like get off your phone. Get off your phone. Now he does. He doesn’t tell you what to do.

Jacqueline de Rojas 29:01
No, no, he’s pretty solid.

Eitan Chitayat 29:04
Wow, he is smart. He knows he’s more subtle than that. To get your husband on the on the show, I think Yeah, definitely. So you’re you’re so it’s Yeah, it is hard. It is hard with the phone it is hard well if as long as you’re enjoying it I guess you know if you don’t have that issue, then you’re lucky cuz I have the guilt.

Jacqueline de Rojas 29:28
Yeah, no, I don’t I don’t have that. I don’t tend to create bad karma around stuff or bad energy. I just brace it. I would like more battery power. I’ve got the biggest baddest iPhone. Yes.

Eitan Chitayat 29:46
Oh my god. So you must be you must be on it all the time. So wait, let me ask you one other question, which goes back a little bit to what we were talking about about what you what you do. So I imagine when when when we read off your your accomplishments and what you’re doing. It’s not easy to understand what it is that you do in your everyday life. How are you? What are you trying to change right now? And please go into as much detail as you’d like. Because I think that’s something really important for people to hear. Because you are an advocate, you are an activist, and you’re a Dewar. So what is it that you are doing?

Jacqueline de Rojas 30:29
Yeah, well, first of all, I, I am more of a task girl than a full English. So I, I have multiple role. And I dip in and out of different board activities, and I mentor the leaders of very large businesses, as well. But you know, what I’m doing right now, as I’m thinking about, probably, there’s never been a better time to be a woman or a minority voice in tech. And so many opportunities are opening up. And, and I think if we start this year, in the shadow of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the rise of incredibly disturbing geopolitics as well, you know, the world is demanding a level playing field for all and this, these are moments you wish would change at company level, and personal level, because everyone understands, they have a part to play, but also that companies can really build diversity into the heart of who they are, versus a tick box of what they do. You know, I believe that diversity isn’t something that you do, I believe that diversity is something that you are, and we need our leaders to be inclusive. So that when, you know, people talk about diverse hiring techniques, for example, and you might add on Yes, and and I might like a minority here. Or you might say, well, instead of looking at this very specific sector in this very specific set of skills, you might say, I don’t mind about the sector, and actually will broaden out the skill set. Because the moment you change from very specific to broader, then you’re being diverse, by definition. So I’m encouraging companies company, to create manifesto for change in that area, it’s very, very important that we also have role models on the hiring funnel. And that we encourage our young people, young women, to take them up to date. You know, I spend a lot of time talking to, or talking to influences like parents and teachers. Because, you know, if we were if we were, for example, putting together a football team for the country, we’d be scouting for talent at age, what, seven, eight. But in tech, we expect them to rock up fully formed at age 18. plus. And we really need to think about how we influence young girls into science, technology, engineering, and math much younger. And that’s why I work with a girl guide, so that we create them badges. And that would be why, what is that? stem, stem science, technology, engineering math. So this is, for example, in the girl guide, they have lots of badges that they can earn. And we’ve got science, technology, engineering, maths badges now where you can, for example, earn a badge, which teaches you about consent on the line. So be safe online badge, you’ve got other other badges that go right up through, let’s learn about AI, and ethics. He says, It’s so exciting to get girls involved in a place where they feel safe, a place where they feel that they can learn easily, and it’s fun, and volunteering is not mandatory. So I think that’s really, really important. But it also on the parents, I think, you know, just challenging the pink ification of everything. And I use that word, you know, when you go into a pizza shop that sells t shirts for kids, you know, the pink one says make the world a prettier place. The blue one says genius. I mean, if that has to stop. And I don’t want the world to become you know, vanilla, I’m not suggesting that. But what I am suggesting is that, you know, pink and blue jobs and pink and blue cheese are, you know, not where we were we’re going to create influence in in the right way.

Eitan Chitayat 34:50
So the leaders of the companies that you speak to the the influencers that the parents, what’s the consensus there? I mean, is it Is everyone? I mean, I would imagine, again, and I don’t want to assume that, of course, everyone’s on board. Everyone wants that. But is that the case?

Jacqueline de Rojas 35:09
Well, the physical universe doesn’t like of it. So I think when you get them one on one, yeah. And then do they make a different choice of the play. But we still see a lot of this stuff in the shop on the shell. And until we have a, you know, a real, concerted effort, not the by this stuff, I think the supply will keep coming.

Eitan Chitayat 35:37
So if if people want to learn more about this, like myself, I’m, I’d love to know, and I think people would want to hear where they can find out more just to get better educated. So are there any references and one or two even that you could just like put people to? Yeah, well,

Jacqueline de Rojas 35:57
I mean, I certainly think there are, we can put some links into the podcast, actually, that that doesn’t really help. But I think there’s, you know, certainly in the UK, we have a lot of organizations that are focused on STEM fields for girls like Bennett, for example. We help young girls to get into technology, and tech on the subject. I think there are, you know, and code club about girls, there are so many opportunities, probably quite natural. But I think it’s worth getting the LinkedIn because these are the parents as well as the children. For sure.

Eitan Chitayat 36:44
I talked to I think that would be great. So tell us what, what is it that um, bit of a segue here a bit of a non sequitur. But this is something that absolutely no one knows about you that people would be surprised to know by you. You’ve got your interview, you got your public persona, but what what is it that people would be surprised to find out about you?

Jacqueline de Rojas 37:14
People probably wouldn’t know that I’ve got six gold medals for Irish dancing.

Eitan Chitayat 37:19
No. Six gold medals for Irish dancing. Like is that that kind of like Lord of like the cookie?

Jacqueline de Rojas 37:29
Yeah, yeah. The guy Michael. Yeah, that made six gold medals. Yeah. Now, and I could say I got them when I was much younger. doesn’t know the story. Well, you know, this is what happens when you have no I was the I was the only Chinese child and my brothers in in a in a very Catholic school where they were all Irish with lovely ginger and red ringlets. Oh, I had black claps right down to my bottom. And so funny. But yeah, the the Catholic school had Irish stimulated in the playground. And we used to learn in playground all the time. So fun.

Eitan Chitayat 38:20
Well, I’ll let you know a little secret that I was almost a professional dancer.

Jacqueline de Rojas 38:26
Right? How can you be almost a professional dancer I

Eitan Chitayat 38:30
was. I was I used to love to dance. And I was okay. I did. And and there’s a group here one of Israel’s Premier, modern dance groups called vertigo. They’re amazing. By the way, when you come to Israel, and you will one day Jacqueline, I’ll take you to one of their shows that they incredible. And I got to be very good friends with the, with the choreographers. And in fact, one of the one of the lead dancers became one of my closest friends. And I was considering going to audition and and become a professional dancer. And I decided not to I decided to go to America and do a master’s degree in communications. So but but there was a moment I still love to put the music on and dance a little.

Jacqueline de Rojas 39:28
And what kind of don’t think and what kind of music are we talking about?

Eitan Chitayat 39:32
Funk? It’s got to be funk. Absolutely. Yeah. In fact, by the way, and this is maybe an opportunity to say that the that the music for the jingle for this show, which you didn’t hear. But hopefully, once I added this, it’ll be in there. The music was made by Lisa Coleman, who was the one of the musicians for prints in his band, the revolution. Which is funky. And she also actually made with Wendy Melvoin the music for the film. She’s that woman, which is how we met. So funk, definitely. I do rather feel we ought to see a clip of the podcast. Why I didn’t know I know this is you this is this is huge I can we got we got we got other places to show that. But I want to ask you because we’re I think we’re just cognizant of the time, what some what’s coming up next for you. I mean, you’re doing such amazing things. But I imagine that there must be something up your sleeve. what’s what’s next for for you?

Jacqueline de Rojas 40:43
Well, I’m working hard on making sure that whilst we are creating and innovating, we believe, pandemic as a country, that technology will be at the heart of economic recovery. And so that’s something that at UK, we’re working really hard to make sure that we bring all the small, medium enterprise, just with SME small companies, I don’t know if your listeners will know this, but 66% of all jobs in the UK are created by small companies in our country. So we’ve got to pair up the nation with all of the corner shops, all of the small traders. And so, you know, our job is to poke the Chancellor in the eye and create conditions for them to thrive. And he’s got a great package of recovery coming out in September, which is exciting. But whilst we’re innovating, and creating all of this tech, and making sure that we are a leader in AI, and data analysis, and science and all of those things, we also need to make sure that we protect the IP around it and protect the innovation. So I’m working quite hard in that area. What moment makes us that we don’t get that grain out of the country, and that we can leverage it and start to scale up some much bigger companies inside the country, which we intend to sort of let them go when they get to a certain size. I suppose that happens to a lot of smaller geographic countries because of the market size, but Yes, a lot. I think where it’s going and securing the IP. What else? Lots creating lots of magical experiences for my family, lockdown. I mean, honestly, we just haven’t seen enough of each other. That’s gonna be really high. I was

Eitan Chitayat 42:30
expecting to see when when we said what’s next, like travel? Get out of here, go somewhere.

Jacqueline de Rojas 42:34
Oh, my goodness. Yeah. say well, on travel. I have breaking news. So I, my husband and I have been so frustrated about not being able to go anywhere that we’ve we’ve reconciled that we will be in the country this year, probably next as well. Who knows? But we bought a camper van. No way. So a Winnebago type camper van. No, no, no, no, that’s 5.4 meters long. But the gating factor for me was it had to have a loo and it had to have a shower. Wait. And I’m so excited because we’ve got underfloor heating. We’ve got solar panels, we can go off grid and do wild camping and just I mean we can go anywhere in the United Kingdom

Eitan Chitayat 43:21
is amazing. And you actually have made me very envious because that’s one of my dreams to go camping with my family and I would love to do that. Well. When’s your next trip? Are you gonna if you kind of like thought like when you might? Cuz I want pictures, Jacqueline?

Jacqueline de Rojas 43:36
Yeah, we’re gonna send pictures. We don’t pick it up until the ninth of April. And we haven’t told the kids yet. So that’ll be a surprise. And we’re going with desperately excited because we want to take our two year old grandson on a road trip would be just the joy.

Eitan Chitayat 43:55
That is amazing. Well, what a wonderful way to to wrap this up camper van Jacqueline. What can I say? I feel so blessed that I know you and I’m so grateful. For us being in touch. I mean for people listening. You truly are a remarkable woman. You’re remarkable human being and you’re very inspirational. I don’t know you that well, but I feel like I do. So I just I want to say thank you, Jacqueline de Rojas. I don’t know if I pronounced that correctly. But oh, there’s the thumbs up. Good. Thank you so much for being on that and you’re just like, you’re great. Thank you very much.

Jacqueline de Rojas 44:36
Thank you and thank you for everything you do as well because you know we need manbassadors. We really do. Lift us all up.

Eitan Chitayat 44:48
Happy to be one. Thanks, Jacqueline.