Once I decided to come out fully, speak openly about my wife and to bring all of myself and my life to work, I enjoyed work more and had a much more open relationship with everyone around me. That openness has made me a far better leader and my career blossomed from that moment.
I primarily use my role as a member of Aviva's Group Executive to normalise being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) by being a role model as a happy, openly gay woman. I am also the executive sponsor of Aviva Pride, our LGBT network in the UK. My focus this year is on working to take our pride network to countries outside of the UK, linking it with other networks and addressing trans issues in the workplace.
My personal aim is to be the best role model I can possibly be and to challenge any form of discrimination. I passionately believe that the progress we have made in LGBT visibility has been heavily influenced by initiatives such as the OUTstanding and FT Leading LGBT executives list. That kind of visibility is invaluable and I'm proud to have been in all the lists since its launch.
The business benefit of a diverse workplace is well documented but organisations still really struggle with it in practice. I work hard to share my experiences with other companies as it is only by understanding other's perspectives that we have a change of turning our workplaces into places that are genuinely welcoming for a diverse mix of talent.