After working within the industry for 28 years, the Link Insurance Network has been a revelation. In an age where diversity is perceived to be given, Link Up North has given me a fresh focus and pride in who I am, enabling me to bring my whole-self to my workplace. The north, especially Leeds, is such an important hub for insurance, second only to London. This is reflected by the strong support for Link Up North and its passionate leadership team. The quality of the presentations and speakers is exemplary and has lead me to challenge my own views. A definite must.
Link events have provided me with unique networking opportunities where I have absolute confidence in sharing details of my personal life outside of work. This has allowed me to practice networking techniques in a safe environment which in turn, has increased my confidence at other (non-LGBTQ+ focussed) networking events.
I made a conscious decision to be ‘out’ at work from day one but at the time, there were no visible LGBTQ+ role models in my company so I still felt uncomfortable talking about my sexuality and the challenges faced by the wider LGBTQ+ community. Link has provided me with role models who have done a fantastic job of raising LGBT awareness, not only in their own companies but also in the wider insurance market.
Link members have inspired me to raise LGBTQ+ awareness in my own company where I believe I am now a visible LGBTQ+ role model. By representing my company at D&I events and then sharing my experiences on our intranet, I have been contacted by colleagues from across the business who identify as LGBTQ+ (or allies) and who either want to be involved with future events or just appreciate having an informal internal network of colleagues for support and advice
Having recently left school to begin my career in insurance, I was anxious about telling my colleagues I was gay and wondered whether there would be anybody else like me in the office. During my first week, my manager (a Link member) mentioned his boyfriend in a conversation we were having amongst the team and this made me realise that it was ok for me to be open and honest with my colleagues about my sexuality.
My manager told me about the Link network and I have since attended one of their monthly networking events. It was great to find out that there were so many people who identify as LGBTQ+ working in the insurance sector and it’s really helped me to quickly build up a network of people I can go to for support and advice. I was pleasantly surprised by how well established the network was and will definitely be taking part in future events.