Sales and Service Manager
"I never really shared my truth unless I was asked directly."
Some of my biggest life moments have happened here at Allianz. From winning an award as a Contact Centre Team Leader, to making a huge city-change across the country to take on an exciting new role. Over time I’ve also grown more comfortable in my own skin so that now I feel safe to share with my fellow colleagues that “no – I don’t have a boyfriend, I have a girlfriend.”
Looking back, a real career highlight for me would be winning the AusContact Team Manager Award for South Australia in 2018. At the time I was managing a team in the ‘work from home’ space (well before the global pandemic forced us all to do so). Given the team didn’t physically work together, I focused on helping everyone to get to know each other better and generally feel more connected so they knew and understood their importance in the success of the Contact Centre. I created a remote working group, sent wellness packs, found small ways to say thank you, conducted some coaching, home visits and lunches – it all came down to creating better connections, building the trust and spending quality time together. The turnaround in performance and overall engagement was really profound and I couldn’t have been more proud of the team’s achievements.
A year on, in 2019, I took on the permanent role of Sales and Service Manager in Brisbane. I’d recently taken the opportunity to move from Adelaide for the warmer weather and lifestyle of Queensland. Allianz supported me to make the move, initially as a secondment. I was hungry for the challenge and stepping up has been one of the proudest moments of my life. The growth professionally and personally has truly been a game changer.
You see I never really shared my truth unless I was asked directly. Generally people would assume I am straight because I don’t look or act gay - whatever that means. People would say “you’ve got a boyfriend” and I never corrected them. Nobody likes an awkward conversation. One that would be more difficult because I wasn’t completely comfortable in my own skin. At that time, maybe naively, I genuinely thought it could impact my career. However, over the last couple years, I’ve grown into myself and feel comfortable and am happy to share. I’m now quite open about my partner and our life together, and not afraid to simply be me.
A big reason why I joined the Allianz Pride network is how we promote and educate our colleagues around the issues the LGBTI community face and create an openness of celebration and love for all. It’s about the community being present and more visible, everyone being more aware of the impact of making assumptions and creating that sense of family and support.
Sexuality absolutely does not define a person - this is something that I’ve personally been at war with over the years. It’s a powerful statement and I hope for anyone who is feeling uncertain at this time truly hears that. I want to help make people feel safe and to encourage them to create a likeminded support network who nurture the core of who they are and what they stand for.
To anyone that’s going through a tough time, like bullying, racism, discrimination, or feeling ostracised in any way, I hope as an inclusive community we can simply say, ‘we see you, we hear you, and we’ve got you’ - as feeling safe is the only key.