Olivia Reynolds, Hiscox

Olivia Reynolds, Hiscox


It’s vital that every member of staff – whether they identify themselves as LGBT, male, female, old, young etc – brings the best of themselves to work. It is essential to actively and consistently source ideas that help to innovate and differentiate us in a competitive market and if people feel excluded or isolated, it’s likely that their creativity and expression will be suppressed as a result of that.

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Miriam Reason, XL Catlin

Miriam Reason, XL Catlin

I am fortunate enough to have a very supportive line manager and team who have always actively encouraged me to be myself and voice my opinion no matter how different or ‘left field’. My opinion is valued as much as everyone else’s in the team, and it is this which makes me feel involved and included despite being quite the ‘odd one out’ I never feel it. I am also encouraged to attend the D&I events that I care about, my team regularly join me at them as allies, and I am able to spend a portion of my time working on D&I initiatives like our LGBT Plus network.

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Katherine Russill, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

Katherine Russill, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

I never thought of the need to not be out at work – I try to be open in every aspect of my life. However, in previous workplaces I did experience panphobic comments. But rather than be cowed, it gave me even more motivation to be out and to educate anyone who may be ignorant (not just of pansexuality, but of all identities).

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Andrew Sellers, Hiscox

Andrew Sellers, Hiscox

I came from a very, very, poor working class family, a broken home. I was the youngest of 6; an absent mother and a father who preferred the company of a publican to the company of his children.  Studying wasn’t a chore for me – it was a necessity, an escape as I was going to university. I needed to study. I had no parental financing for university...…I worked in a supermarket to raise funds. I financed myself with government support and bank loans and four years later I beat many “elite” students to secure one of six Graduate trainee spots with the RSA in 1995.

So what advice would I give a younger me? Understanding my history, I’d probably get pretty choked and say “You are doing just fine Andrew….stay focused, crack on and never look back”.

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Marianne Skinner, Zurich

Marianne Skinner, Zurich

I was determined that after the headache of coming out as a teenager I wasn’t going to allow myself to get back into a situation where it had to be a big announcement, because once you’re back in that place, it becomes a much bigger uphill battle. So I’ve been out since the start of my career. For me, I can’t imagine not being out at work; it makes a huge difference to me to be able to come into the office and be able to chat about my life the same as anyone else. Being myself has also allowed me the confidence to try and make a difference for other people too.

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Rose St Louis, Zurich

Rose St Louis, Zurich

I am a diversity champion so I believe in fairness which stems from my own intersectionality and is far reaching so being involved with the LGBT community is simply part of what I believe.  My diversity is visible (black female) so I have had to react to people based on what they see and what they believe.  Being involved in the LGBT community has given me an appreciation of a managing something that is non-visible and in some instances personally crippling, and therefore made me think on how I communicate to diverse audiences.

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Pamela Thomson-Hall, Willis Towers Watson

Pamela Thomson-Hall, Willis Towers Watson

I’ve just spent the day in a primary school talking to girls about how to have courage in everyday life.  A tough gig when the wide-eyed 11 year olds have more courage to be themselves than I see every day in the workplace.  I work closely with my children’s schools on role modelling adult behaviours and sharing life experiences, be it a talk about the wonders of India, the challenges of managing conflict in the work playground or the important of presentation skills to make your message impactful.  The world is a rapidly changing place, I marvel at children’s agnostic approach to all diversity issues.  These will be our future leaders and with our support, their views will help reshape the world for the better.

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