This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

Dive into an inspiring conversation with Dr. Rachel O’Connell, Founder and CEO of TrustElevate, as she unveils the journey of solving the seemingly unsolvable challenges of online safety. 

In this engaging interview, Dr. O’Connell shares her experiences from the mid-nineties, delving into the world of forensic psychology, analyzing pedophile activity on the internet. 

Discover the pivotal moments that led her to establish the first UK internet safety program and her subsequent role in a tech startup acquired by AOL. 

Driven by a purpose-led mission, she discusses the intricacies of being a female entrepreneur, facing a mere 2 percent investment rate, and offers valuable advice for those navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. 

Gain insights into the evolving landscape of internet safety, the power of collective action, and the personal challenges faced on the road to creating positive impact. 

You can find Dr Rachel O’Connell at the below links

In the interview, Dr Rachel shares

  • “We solve the unsolvable problem online of knowing who is a child, who’s a parent, who’s an adult, who is a teen.” 
  • “The next era of the internet is age-aware and consent-driven.” 
  • “There’s a whole generation that has grown up now, experiencing firsthand the harms of the internet. They are now a very vocal voice in activism to put pressure on for change.” 
  • “You have to go all the way back to the mid to late nineties to understand the sheer scale of risks and harms to children’s wellbeing online.” 
  • “I want a percentage of our profits to go back into community efforts to protect kids, addressing the huge deficit in support for children harmed online.” 
  • “Being a female founder, only 2 percent get investment. It’s a shocking statistic, but it fuels my determination to succeed against the odds.” 
  • “Believe in yourself, believe in your mission. Every knockback is an opportunity to learn and grow stronger.” 
  • “There’s power in the collective when diverse backgrounds, from social work to technologists, come together to address the impact on children globally.” 
  • “To lead effectively, it’s essential to lead on the basis of what’s best for your team, creating a corporate culture of respect and support.”
  • “Surround yourself with advisors, smart people willing to help. It’s crucial to have perspective and patience; success takes time.”