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Chapter Two - The Inclusion Odyssey (Part 1)

Finding courage and taking risks

Do you remember a 1993 American film comedy called Cool Runnings and the scene where the Jamaican bobsleigh team first arrive in Calgary, Canada? This is where the main characters drop their bags in shock at the sight of the snow and the blast of freezing temperatures at the arrival entrance of the airport.

Yes? Well I had a similar experience when I relocated to Toronto, Canada to start a role in diversity and inclusion (D&I). It was my first time living abroad.

New country, new climate, new culture.

Arriving during one of the worst winters on record, panic quickly set in once I’d surveyed the ‘sea of snow’ outside the airport. What was I thinking? Admittedly, I did consider making a beeline for the nearest BA desk and flying straight back to the UK. It took the promise of a cupcake offered by my somewhat bemused relocation agent to coax me beyond the luggage carousel.

But thankfully common sense and courage prevailed. I refocused and reminded myself about my life goals: I wanted to expand my skillset, immerse myself in a different culture, sharpen my thinking within a global environment and nurture lifelong friendships.

I followed through and went on to spend five fantastic years in Toronto. It was unpredictable, surprising, challenging but all in all it ended up exceeding my original expectations both professionally and personally.

The story continues in Part 2…

Shared learning


- Be courageous and take risks because you never know what rewards are out there.

- Self-doubt is 100% normal and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not.

- Remind yourself of your goals and recalibrate if you need to.

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