How does Pure Innovations champion inclusion?
In very many ways. Many Pure clients have a disability, autism, mental health condition or disorder. Discrimination is not always conscious but subconscious bias is also harmful.
I remember securing jobs for people in the mainstream jobs market in areas such as hospitality and retail. Employers were not always intentionally discriminating against people with a disability when recruiting. They just were not aware that their recruitment practice automatically excluded certain people from applying or applying successfully. They needed guidance on how to be a good employer, recruiting a diverse range of people with skills and abilities that reflect their customer base.
When you talk to an employer about Learning Disability or Mental Health they don’t always know what it means because they have no experience to call upon and may be influenced by inaccurate negative stereotypes. When we walk with employers through a better recruitment process, they not only become better informed but empowered. They end up with a fantastic employee and often become our champions in the world of work, keen to recruit again with us.
Have you experienced sex discrimination in your career?
I have been really fortunate in my career in having strong female role models, maybe due the sector I work in. The only sexism I experienced was in my early days (early 90’s) when I secured jobs for people, often liasing with directors and senior managers who in the main were male and could be oppressive, undermining or dismissive. For me, not being heard, ignored or just excluded from conversations and information, was particularly challenging.
I can see a change over the years: increasing visibility of women in senior roles, on boards, in high profile roles on media platforms. These all give positive messages to many young females, informing their career aspirations. As a mum of two young women, I have tried to ensure they aim high in life. Being a women should not be a hinderance in their career choice or aspirations. I have encouraged them to follow their dreams.
Gender should be incidental. Identifying what you’re passionate about and pursuing that should be your focus.
What do you like to do outside work?
I just love the outdoors and nature. I am at my most contented walking up hills and appreciating the countryside. The vastness brings a perspective to being.
Family is also a fundamental part of my life and a busy home is the norm for me. There are always arguments about food, cleaning (toilets in particular), and “who has been in my room” “where’s my…..” and “has anyone fed the dog” – along with long, lazy Sunday roasts.