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Early Adopter leads the way

Kirsty Lynagh is Chief People and Performance Officer at Seccl, part of Octopus. She explains why WE+ makes sense for businesses and individuals – and why she is proud to be an Early Adopter

You can either watch Kirsty or read a transcript of her film below, which explains why she is supporting WE+.


Anna, Jacqueline, and all the team at One Loud Voice, congratulations on your launch event this evening, and what I'm sure is going be something that's hugely impactful for gender diversity for generations to come.


My name's Kirsty Lynagh, and I'm Chief People Officer at SECCL, and it's a real privilege to be one of the Early Adopters of WE+ at One Loud Voice. My interest in inclusion and diversity began about a decade ago. I didn't know it then, but I was on maternity leave with my second baby – he was 11 weeks old, and I also had an elder son just over two at home. As you can imagine I had my hands and my heart very full. My boss at the time sent me a text asking me to join a conference call within the hour and I soon found myself joining a call with around 300 of my colleagues informing me that my role in a once global bank was going to be made redundant.


As I sat on the floor with building blocks around me, a baby in my arm, and Alfie, my toddler, crawling about, I thought, ‘gosh, what am I going to do?’ ‘Would I be able to find another role?’ Craig, my husband, was at work. Shared parental leave just wasn't a thing back then. And I remember in the days and weeks that passed feeling super-stressed about what the future was for me and our family.


As it turned out, the way I was treated there was actually shambolic. It showed me that at the heart, even though I understand that commercial decisions need to be made, there was no humanity or empathy to my situation at all. And I vowed then to make sure that no person in any organisation I would be part of would be treated in the same way. And I started there a real quiet revolution, I would say, to make sure that at its heart that people understood that the opposite of inclusion is actually offensive. It's exclusion. And I wanted to make sure that any people strategy that I shaped had intentional inclusion at the very heart.


And whilst there is very much a commercial argument and a human argument, actually, I can see that inclusion, especially gender inclusion, is a key driver of business success and being future relevant and durable. With flexible working in particular and offering family friendly policies, Which, by the way, you shouldn't need to give birth to work flexibly. This is about integrating work and life together. But in doing so, we have happier and more productive teams, which in turn delight our customers and deliver commercial success.


There's a great study from London Business School, the Future of Work Consortium, that shows that high performers want to be high performing in all aspects of their lives. And I find that really fascinating because the workplace has really changed. We know that we can work from home, work from anywhere very productively. We know that we can offer flexibility in its many guises, whether that's in a formal way, working part-time, compressed hours, or simply having the flexibility to care for an aging parent or pick the kids up from school. which leads us to being happier, more engaged, more productive, and actually part of our communities and our societies.


If there's one thing I want to leave you with today, it's embrace the work that One Loud Voice are doing to see gender inclusivity not as a win-lose situation for men or women, but actually for the humans in our society, for the benefit of our family framework, for our workplaces and the commercial results that will follow. Thanks so much and looking forward to seeing you soon.

Click to find out more about WE+


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