Theresa Farrenson, Aon

Theresa Farrenson, Aon

I came out pretty early in my first job: I was part of a graduate scheme and amongst peers so it was relatively easy. I was in the middle of my first break-up and the group noticed I was not myself and I just told them what was going on.  They were fab and supported me and it just grew from there.  As soon as I knew I was accepted as myself there was no reason to move to a job where that might be threatened, so I just asked at subsequent interviews.  I won’t lie, it was scary and 20 years ago was not a particularly usual question for a candidate to ask in an interview … but it did mean I went confidently into further roles.

The latest thing I’m grappling with is that of my gender identity. Through finding out more of the various identities and have recently come to recognise myself as gender non-binary.  It is weird to find myself coming out all over again.

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Greg Lowe, Aon

Greg Lowe, Aon

I felt trapped not being out at work. I was out since I was 18 and never held this back until I started my first job in banking. Going back into the closet, even if only at work, was difficult and probably contributed to my frustration with my job. I decided I would look to other opportunities outside banking and that gave me the courage to just take the step and come out to my colleagues as I had nothing to lose. The reaction was on the whole positive, though I had some interesting questions. When I started my first job in insurance at Aon, I brought it up with my manager right away as I wanted to make sure that didn’t hang over my head like it did before. I was free to focus on my work and be myself, which gave me a huge increase in confidence.

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