I have lived and worked all over the world. I only came to live in the UK in my early teens – going to a boys boarding school near Cambridge. I was one first girls to go into the school. I was different as I had moved from Jamaica – I had a Jamaican accent, never worn a school uniform let alone shoes and I had been home schooled before I arrived in the UK.Read More
The simple fact for me is that I find it incredibly tiring having to lie about my life.
I was hesitant about coming out at first, but as mentioned, seeing the head of our division confidently out and with no one seemingly bothered then this was the real catalyst for me.Read More
I have family members and many friends who are part of the LGBT community and from a very early age I have heard many different stories, and experiences that people have had when coming out or being around people who are not tolerant and to me it has never entered my head that anyone should be treated differently just because of who they are. When I had the chance to be involved with Pride I jumped at it as I knew how passionately I felt about making a difference and now was the chance to do so.Read More
After I had left a job, an ex-colleague took me out to dinner – she felt sorry for me because she thought I was all on my own. I was shocked and thought, how can you live a lie like that? How could my closest work colleague not know that I had a partner? I was moving to a new company, and I thought "this has got to stop".Read More
I joined our diversity and inclusion steer co 18 months ago. It became very obvious to me at this point **cliché alert** that I had to be the change I wanted to see. We all have a part to play in inclusion. I think it’s easy to assume that someone else is taking care of it.…that it should sit with HR or the leadership team and those were my thoughts until I got my position on that committee. But actually we are ALL responsible and that makes us all role models. We all need to display good behaviours in order to continue to drive an inclusive culture.Read More
In my own career, my experience has been that you need to change the environment yourself, leading by example. But you also should do what you can for those coming after you.
As a member of the ABI’s five-person executive team, I am in the position to shape our culture to make sure that our environment is welcoming to all, and as a representative organisation, we can help set the tone for our sector.Read More
We need to facilitate more honest conversations. Being tolerant of the LGBT community is not the goal. Being silent at work while voicing your views on social media is counterproductive and stagnates the pace of change we can make in the insurance sector. We need to have more awkward conversations where we empower people to speak their mind.Read More
I was frustrated to be leading a double life and having become an expert in diverting conversations away from my personal life when everyone else didn’t even need to think about that. Some positive experiences and relationships encouraged me to be myself and that it was ok to be me.Read More
How did I get to be where I am today? An enormous amount of luck – inspiring colleagues, patient clients, great leaders, shared values.
For the record, before entering this industry my previous job was a road sweeper. In May 1984 I moved to London, no flat, no job, no connections and an overdraft – could have been tricky!Read More
Do whatever makes you comfortable. Personally I feel uncomfortable trying to avoid talking about my life outside at work so an initial uncomfortable conversation (which probably is only uncomfortable for you!) means a more enjoyable experience at work. Don’t force yourself or let others push for you to do anything, do whatever you feel in yourself is what will make you most comfortable and therefore allow you to perform at your best.Read More