Stephen Ashworth / Regional Finance Director, Americas

What do you love most about working here?

I know I am helping to create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and of other countries; that’s what drives me to get out of bed each day.  The UK is in need more than ever of friends beyond our traditional spheres of influence and being able to contribute to that I find gratifying. 

Why would you recommend other people to join this organisation?

Certainly I would recommend it for anyone interested in an international dimension to their career, and that can be in any field we work in.  I joined the British Council as we were expanding in eastern Europe and the organisation was looking for German speakers; the opportunity came for me at exactly the right time as I was looking for a change in direction to something more international than the construction company I was working for at the time.  The international dimension to my career has been far greater than I ever thought back then.  So if you are in it for the short or long haul the opportunities in the organisation can be significant.

What do you think is our company's biggest strength that we should be focusing on?

Undoubtedly our global reach, operating in environments where commercial companies wouldn´t, and where government departments can´t.  We need to maintain focus on that global reach particularly in the developed world as we all have a part to play in driving up surplus of our commercial activity so that we can maintain the reach of the network we have.

What three words would you use to describe our BC culture?

Inclusive, open, frustrating sometimes (possibly a result of the first two).

What impact has the British Council had in your career?

It has had more than an impact on my career, it has had a huge impact on my life having defined where I have lived for more years than I care to remember.  After working in Europe, Asia and Africa (not forgetting my own city of Manchester) I originally came to this region, for the first time ever, 7 years ago on an 8 month temporary posting to Brazil and am still in Latin America having mastered a new language (from scratch to C1) in the process which is enormously rewarding. 

What motivates you to go above and beyond at work?

Knowing that I am supporting colleagues who are as dedicated to the aims of the organisation as I am.