I’ve been at Capita for over eight years, in several different roles but most recently as a Talent Acquisition Partner in Capita Experience. I love that I get to work with people globally: I partner with business areas based in the Republic of Ireland and our Sourcing teams in Mumbai and South Africa. I have great colleagues, supportive management and a brilliant team and it’s this support that’s helped me feel confident to be myself and fully express my identity, both in and outside of work.
Joining the Rainbow Alliance
A year ago, I wrote an article for our internal intranet on the topic of Pride 2022. It was the 50th anniversary of the UK celebrating and supporting Pride, and a milestone event. The article led to me join the amazing Capita Rainbow Alliance (LGBTQ+) Network. The network is dedicated to promoting gender equality, sexual orientation, diversity and inclusion, and provides a supportive space for colleagues to share their experiences around the challenges they face at work. It aims to make Capita a much more inclusive place to work and bring people together.
Giving back to others
In Manchester, where I live, I volunteer for the George House Trust (which provides services to people living with, and affected by, HIV) and the LGBT Foundation (a charity delivering advice, support and information services to LGBT communities). But I was keen to get involved in something similar in the workplace. The Rainbow Alliance has allowed me to do just that.
Expressing my identity
Over the past couple of years, I’ve become comfortable with realising, expressing and sharing my gender identity as Gender Fluid. Initially, this was something I was quite hesitant about sharing at work, especially when it came to my pronouns. I always felt this part of my identity needed to be hidden or kept under wraps in the workplace, and I used to tell myself that it was because it was personal and nobody else’s business. In fact, it was because I was absolutely terrified of people’s reactions!
Outside of work, I surround myself with very forward-thinking, liberal, or queer people, so it’s never ever been something I’ve had to think about too much. It wasn’t until I had a very open and honest discussion with my manager and expressed my trepidation about updating my personal profile and email signature, that I felt confident to express my identity openly at work.
The importance of support networks
But I have never looked back. The support that I got was such a joyous, eye-opening experience which filled me with courage. Coming out as gender fluid at work was the final hurdle for me and being able to be my authentic self in my job has had a hugely positive impact elsewhere in my life.
I feel very fortunate to have the support around me that I do, but its also a shame that I ‘feel lucky’ about this as it should be a human right. There are so many people globally that don’t have this option and have to hide who they are. For this reason, I’ll keep fighting for the rest of my life, or until everyone feels comfortable celebrating themselves at work, and beyond.