Ce qui ne nous tue pas nous rend plus fort, as the French say. Well, move over Jean-Claude van Damme, I’ve had quite a week.
A new role has been in the offing at work for the past couple of years: Head of Diversity and Inclusion. The job is partly about tackling the lack of diverse representation at senior levels and its effect on things such as the gender pay gap.
It’s also partly about then communicating that work to the business.
So, in short, it’s a combination of my day job and what I jokingly refer to as my gay job. I manage the company’s communications but, alongside that, I also lead on a range of diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives.
I believe I have helped transform the company into the one it is today.
As a result of my work, diversity and inclusion drew the strongest set of approval ratings in the latest staff survey. The company has also ranked in the top 100 UK employers for LGBT staff for the past 4 years, and in 2016 it was named Diverse Company of the Year.
And I won the company’s Diversity Champion of the Year award.
So, any talk of this new Head of Diversity and Inclusion role has usually come with comments like ‘That’s made for you’ or ‘That’s got your name all over it’.
I had come to believe it too.
I waited for the job advert with keen anticipation – and when it came, I wasted little time before applying. I didn’t want to miss out.
Which made the news that I hadn’t even been shortlisted for interview feel like a kick in the teeth.
Apparently, 28 other people applied for the role and all of them already had the words ‘diversity and inclusion’ in their job titles. So, thanks for all your hard work, Graham, but no thanks.
“It has given me the push I needed. I’ve now updated my CV and created a load of job alerts here in France”
I will admit I spent a few days sticking pins in dolls and generally feeling rather sorry for myself. However, that’s not very productive and, ahem, I gather it’s not much fun to be around.
Plus, let’s face it, being upset about a job I didn’t get in London when I’m trying to build a new life for myself in France doesn’t make much sense.
The only positive I can find in this whole debacle is that it has given me the push I needed. I’ve now updated my CV and created a load of job alerts here in Lille.
Wish me luck!