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I grew up in a conservative, working-class family in Caerphilly, South Wales. From an early age, I knew I was different, but in the 70s and 80s, I didn’t see anyone like me, and I chose to hide my true self until my mid-30s. Despite this, I thrived academically and socially, playing rugby for the first team, becoming Head Boy and the first in my family to attend university. There, I met my future wife, and we had two wonderful children. Outwardly, my life seemed perfect, but masking my identity took a toll on my mental well-being and overall confidence.

In my mid-30s, three significant events—changing jobs, moving house, and my daughter’s serious illness—led to the end of my marriage and the beginning of my journey to authenticity. I came out at 35, and today, I’m happily married to Tom, with my children, Nia (26) and Jonah (24), fully integrated into our family.

With 31 years in Talent Acquisition, I’ve had the privilege of living and working globally, including stints in the US (one year at Iowa State University and six months in New York), Australia (three years), and New Zealand (three years). These experiences broadened my perspective and enriched my understanding of diversity.

A pivotal moment in my DEI journey was my work on the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics, where I led the recruitment efforts and developed a skills and employment strategy to engage diverse local communities in some of the most deprived parts of East London. For this work, I was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s Honours list.

During the COVID-19 crisis, I took a 4-month sabbatical to support a government programme, stepping out of my comfort zone to contribute to the national effort. Although only a minor role, I was immensely proud to have played my part in supporting the national efforts during the crisis.

Today, I am deeply passionate about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). My background fuels my commitment to social mobility, and despite the recent weaponisation of DEIB, particularly in the UK and US, I remain resolute. These challenges have only strengthened my determination to drive change.

I am passionate about driving change in the recruitment industry. I co-chair the Embrace Forum for APSCO (Association of Professional Staffing Companies), a forum to support recruitment businesses prioritise DEIB in their everyday businesses.

In my current role, I connect with peers and experts to create momentum for DEIB initiatives. My personal and professional journey has been immensely fulfilling, and I am proud of my contributions, particularly in the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics, where my work helped individuals from deprived areas gain employment opportunities.

Maintaining my physical and mental well-being is crucial to me. I’m an avid runner, having completed one marathon and 13 half-marathons. This year, I’ve already done a 25km run and plan to run a half-marathon in September.

Above all, I am proud of finding the courage to live authentically and lead a fulfilling life as a professional, gay man. My experiences have shaped who I am today and fuel my passion for making a positive impact in the DEIB space.