Saturday June 30, 2018
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your job?
I’m in the Royal Navy but currently part of the Armed Forces Diversity Engagement Team based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. It’s our job to engage with the wide range of communities across the UK and explain what the Armed Forces do and how we contribute to society; we also myth bust about the opportunities for women. On a personal note - I’m married to Emma and we share our life with our cat, Shane.
Did you have any role models growing up?
My mum was my main role model, she was a kind hearted person who always looked for the good in people and supported the underdog. She passed away 16 years ago but I live with her influence and miss her every single day. Additionally, I look for different things in different people – so actually had many role models for various reasons. My best friend at school Nikki was also role model for me – she was a brilliant football player and I admired her ability and skill and she also had a great sense of humour.
How important do you think it is to have visible role models within the workplace?
Massively important, as the saying goes “You can’t be what you can’t see”. I never really used to think about it – but I think that my professional life may have been slightly different if I could relate fully to those in my chain of command. I feel it’s important to have a diverse team in the workplace and therefore diverse talent which comes in many forms … just like role models. It is also beneficial to have realistic ambitions and goals so the more exposure to positive role models the more tangible the achievement.
What are you most proud of?
Proposing to my wife Emma. Those that know me will tell you that I was very brave as I don’t normally like to be in the limelight … I’m more of a behind the scenes type of person – but I was wearing my full naval uniform on the main stage at Liverpool Pride and it went viral on social media – it’s truly a memory I will never forget.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
That I am able to achieve whatever I set my mind to.
What is on your bookshelf?
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (bit of a Star Wars Fan)
Queen & Country: Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces by Dr Emma Vickers
What is on your bucket list?
Travelling around Vietnam
To start/complete my Oral History Project about women in the military
So what do you do for fun?
Travel, play music, visit the theatre and the cinema. I like the great outdoors and love to walk along the seafront.
Dinner Party: Who would you invite?
Alison Moyet – legend and all round good person
Andy Warhol – brilliance
Pink – cheeky and mischievous
How would you describe yourself in FIVE words?
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Only that I am immensely proud of being both a Role Models and a Trustee for Diversity Role Models. Since I began my journey with them, my faith has been restored in this country's education system and younger generations. Students ask very mature questions and teachers are impressed by their level of engagement and knowledge – it gives the schools a great insight into their student’s emotional intelligence too.