Meet the Virgin Family: Ugo Eboh
Virgin Money believes in helping its customers during hard times. Ugo Eboh works in the risk department for Virgin Money credit cards, helping vulnerable customers through tough financial situations. We caught up with him to find out why he joined Virgin Money six years ago, why he still loves working there and what his plans are for the future.
Why did you want to work for Virgin Money?
I’d worked for 10 years at another credit card company that used to manage Virgin Money’s credit cards. I had always been intrigued by the entrepreneurial spirit of Virgin; the brand was everywhere – aeroplanes, trains, media, phones, banking. It made me feel that anything was possible and that was really inspiring.
It’s such a unique place to be, there aren’t many businesses like it, there is always something exciting happening. It’s already been around for decades and has done incredible things, but I feel that Virgin is just getting started.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Virgin Money?
I like that there are always opportunities to try new things, this makes coming to work a lot of fun. Like most people, I spend a lot of time at work, so it’s important to me that it’s enjoyable.
What are the biggest challenges of your job?
You have to be multi-skilled and be able to multitask well if you work for Virgin. While that is great for your career, it can be mentally exhausting at times. I’m grateful that we’re so good at managing our mental wellbeing here and are always looking for ways to improve.
If you were Prime Minister for a day, what rules would you put in place?
I’d make sure that Black lives truly matter. I’d put in place all the recommendations that have been suggested through the McGregor-Smith Review, the Race at Work Charter, COVID-19 findings, and many other recommendations for helping to break down institutionalised racism. For me, this is the biggest focus right now.
What do you want to do in the future? How do you think Virgin can help you do that?
I want to be a voice in my community, specifically the Black community. I want to be able to lobby for change to give a brighter future to those who have a Black and Asian background in the UK and further afield.
I feel I’m on a journey towards that and Virgin Money has been instrumental in helping me achieve these goals, mainly via the Embrace Network, which is our ethnicity network. I am one of the co-chairs, we have three key aims:
Increase awareness, understanding and empathy amongst colleagues around ethnicity, cultural and religious matters.
Empower Black and Asian colleagues and allies to act as role models, and in doing so facilitate career progression and development opportunities across the Black and Asian communities.
Encourage, promote and actively facilitate colleague engagement in activities which contribute to improving and enabling ethnic minority communities.
I’ve made some amazing connections and had some incredible experiences through doing this, including being a finalist in 2017 for the Black Business awards, I’m still part of their alumni as a result and attend a lot of their events.
Have you ever experienced racism in the workplace?
In my entire career yes, but not directly. The Black Lives Matter protests this year caused me to reflect on a number of things from my past, I think there was definitely a time in my career when the real me was not fully utilised due to how I came across at the time. Even to the point where I would say my career tanked for two years or so.
Upon reflection, I can definitely see that there was little understanding of who I was and what made me, me. And that was tied to my race and background.
It was the recognition that my character didn’t fit into the mould of what was expected. I know this is a problem for a lot of Black and Asian people and indeed is the reason that so many of them don’t progress.
How has that experience been different at Virgin Money?
In the last six years of me being here, I’ve seen that very same character thrive because it’s been really appreciated for what it always was – authentic.
I’ve thrived since starting at Virgin Money. And I would say that Virgin Money was really at the forefront of a lot of this, really pushing the inclusion agenda from the top. I’m hoping the continued momentum will see this grow right across the entire Virgin Group.
Interested in joining the Virgin family? Check out our careers page.