“From my financial-sector experience, regulations are often what cause companies to do the right thing long before their sense of values moves them. I think the changes in diversity have been minor in the grand scheme of things. What has to change is the attitude men bring with them into the workplace and that takes much more time than changing behavior”
– Deborah S. Bosley
This article originally appeared on Thrive Global by Jason Hartman.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah S. Bosley, Ph.D. Deborah is the Founder and Principal at The Plain Language Group. A long-time believer that good writing is good business, she has spent the past 20 years helping corporations create written information that is easy for people to understand and use. Deborah works primarily with Fortune 100/500 companies. Deborah has given more than 100 presentations to business, government, and non-profit organizations in the U.S., Mexico, England, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and France. She is the co-author of three books and the author of more than two dozen articles on issues related to clear communication.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?
I am a plain language expert who works primarily in the financial sector. My expertise is in helping companies meet regulatory requirements for clear and conspicuous disclosures — while creating content that their customers can understand.
My first foray into the field of finance occurred while I was a tenured professor of technical writing, before I started The Plain Language Group, I was contacted by a bank that has since been scooped up twice and landed in Wells Fargo. The Director of their Capital Markets Group wanted me to help their marketers write proposals to sell more hedge funds. I worked as a consultant with them for three years. At that point I realized that I love working with financial corporations, because doing so is like being an anthropologist: learning tribal rituals, understanding the politics, deciphering the language, studying behavior patterns, etc. From that experience and many others, I left academia, and TPLG now has worked with almost every large bank in the U.S.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
One day during a meeting with the head of Capital Markets, he thanked me for all the plain language training I had provided and their resulting increase in successful proposals. He then said to me, “Deborah, you must be the only English professor in the US who understands how hedge funds work.” Of course, in order to teach them to write better proposals, I had to learn about the products they were selling. But I never forgot what he said, because it taught me an important lesson: Say “yes” to what you have never done and then figure it out.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am working with one of the largest banks in Canada to accomplish two goals for them:
1) meet the regulatory needs for plain language as prescribed by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. This entity takes very seriously the requirement to make financial information easy for customers to understand.
2) improve customer experience and trust by making information clear, concise, and understandable.
I believe that people have the right to understand information that affects them. In addition to their health, people must be able to make informed decisions about their financial lives. We cannot do so if we don’t understand financial information.
Read the rest of the article on ThriveGlobal.com.