What is your role?
I joined XL Catlin on the apprenticeship scheme In October 2016. Both of my parents work/ have worked in insurance, and when I completed work experience in insurance in secondary school I decided that claims was a role I would like to pursue. Therefore I began looking for ways to get into insurance and decided to go down the apprenticeship route.
What factors allow you to bring your full self to work?
a. How does your environment make you feel involved and included?
My team allows me to be myself at work. They are very friendly and do not judge me based on age or anything else. They have always made me feel involved and included. When I first started I was really nervous to speak to my colleagues, especially as this was my first job. I was also worried that I would be judged for my inexperience of the working world and insurance. However, I soon grew comfortable as they always invited me to lunches, insurer meetings, events etc. This made me feel like part of the team.
b. Do you think there is improvement needed? What are your ideas?
I think in general, to improve team effectiveness and involvement with each other; colleagues should always make others feel comfortable, and not ask questions or make jokes which may come across as offensive or inappropriate. I also think it is important to be the first person to speak when someone new joins to make them feel like this is a nice environment where colleagues are friends rather than co-workers.
What was your first motivation to be involved with the LGBT+ community? How has this most positively influenced your experience?
I first wanted to become a part of the LGBT community as an ally when I joined other diversity and inclusion networks and heard of the issues individuals faced with being true to themselves about their sexuality. Being new to the insurance industry, I was shocked to hear this as people were open at college about themselves. I had forgotten that the working world may still be changing and adapting. This pushed me to become involved with LGBT networks where I found a lot of people who are in support of diversity and inclusion, and that changes are being made.
Can you tell us how the business has been improved by LGBT+ people bringing the best of themselves to work?
I believe the business greatly benefits from the LGBT community being true to themselves at work as this will increase productivity, mental health and the relationships between teams and the company as a whole, making it a pleasant work environment for all.
Do you have any advice for someone who isn't out at work yet?
From an ally perspective, I think the best advice I could give is to feel confident about yourself and never feel like parts of who you are should be kept separate from work. I would also say that things are changing and that if they did face issues this should be called out.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell myself to try to be the best person I can be, and treat others the way I would like to be treated.
Can you describe the moment you realised you were a role model?
The moment I realised I was a role model I was pleased to know that I was helping others, and was part of a change for the better.
What do you do on a day to day basis to be a positive role model?
To be a positive role model I always make sure that I am supportive to all colleagues. I also make sure I treat others the way I would like to be treated. Furthermore I inform others of issues with diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry to change perceptions and influence more people to join diversity networks.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to be a good role model?
The advice I would give to those who would like to be role models is to be approachable and a good listener. I would also tell them to be professional and actively promote all aspects of diversity.
What are you doing outside of your organisation to be a good role model?
I have joined various diversity and inclusion networks, and as a part of these I have volunteered at events and schools in support of diversifying the insurance industry, and changing perceptions.
Who is your most memorable role model and why?
My most memorable role model is my grandmother. She never has anything bad to say about anyone and doesn’t judge people for who they are.