Olivia Reynolds, Hiscox

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What is your role?
Graduate Trainee Underwriter

Olivia's Story
I studied Geography at the University of Liverpool and then took a gap year, which I spent travelling and frantically applying for graduate schemes. I managed to get an Internship at XL Catlin in the summer of 2017 in their Reinsurance division which sparked my interest in Insurance and encouraged me to apply for the Hiscox Graduate Scheme. I started on the Hiscox Scheme in September 2017.

What factors allow you to bring your full self to work? 
a. How does your environment make you feel involved and included?

A flat structure allows you to integrate and communicate with colleagues of all levels of seniority. An inclusive atmosphere helps to encourage individuals to be themselves and bring their whole selves to work.

Do you think there is improvement needed?  What are your ideas?
There is always room for improvement and our various societies internally and senior employees are helping to drive the progress Hiscox makes towards Diversity and Inclusion.

What was your first motivation to be involved with the LGBT+ community? How has this most positively influenced your experience?
The LGBT community is a smaller part of a wider community. They’re part of societies make up. A hugely inspiring part, might I add. I’d have a lot less friends if I wasn’t an LGBT ally!!

Can you tell us how the business has been improved by LGBT+ people bringing the best of themselves to work?
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.

Do you have any advice for someone who isn't out at work yet?
There is NO pressure. No pressure to come out if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, no pressure to conform to what you may consider ‘the norm’, no pressure to live up to a stereotype. Be the ‘you’ that you feel comfortable being, and if you’re comfortable with coming out then GO FOR IT!

Most companies have LGBT societies, where the members are likely to be able to give advice and support on coming out in the workplace.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop caring what everyone thinks – everyone is quirky in their own way.

Can you describe the moment you realised you were a role model?
I think anyone with ambition and a passion for success is a role model. So if that qualifies me, count me in!

What do you do on a day to day basis to be a positive role model?
Work hard, say yes to every opportunity, and support and encourage fellow colleagues/graduates.

What advice would you give to someone who wishes to be a good role model?
Being successful in your own career is not enough to qualify as being a ‘role model’. To be a role model you need to want to see others achieve success too and do what you can to help them with that journey.

What are you doing outside of your organisation to be a good role model?
I’m a member of London Insurance Life which aims to encourage school leavers or graduates to consider a career in insurance, as well as being a delegate for DXC Digital Minds. I can’t say I want change in the industry if I don’t get stuck-in myself.