Be yourself and be open
12 July 2018
Nigel Hunt, Tesco Bank’s Marketing Director and Out at Tesco Sponsor talks about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and what Pride means to him.
As sponsor of our Out at Tesco network, what benefits does it bring to you as a colleague?
The Out at Tesco network is a beacon for bringing your full-self to work; celebrating what makes each of us unique. And it’s a fabulous group which creates a safe place to be yourself.
Why is it important for a company the size of Tesco to have an LGBT+ network?
It’s about education and acceptance. Without fantastic networks like Out at Tesco it would be that bit harder for some of our people to feel truly comfortable at work.
How can we all champion Diversity and Inclusion at work?
It’s about sharing stories about people’s life journeys. Having role models from all kind of backgrounds who talk openly about their struggles and their successes. So share your story - it’s important! One of Tesco’s core values is we treat people how they want to be treated, a value we do our best to live by every day.
Tell us a little about your career to date. What advice would you give to anybody starting out?
I’ve been lucky in my career and specifically the people I have worked with over the years. My values guide me strongly and it’s important for me to work with people who I respect and in turn they respect me. My one bit of advice I would give is don’t compromise on your values, seek out great people to work with; be yourself and be open. It took me quite a long time to be open about my sexuality at work and looking back I wish I’d done it sooner. It takes up a huge amount of energy not being your complete self. And my career only really took off when I was open about who I was - I don’t think that was a coincidence. I’ve been very fortunate and I’m happy where I’m at in life now.
Have you ever experienced any prejudices in your career, and if so, how did you overcome these?
I have experienced prejudice and earlier in my career I didn’t know how to handle that. These days - and people who know me have probably seen me do this - I respectfully and directly call things out. Sometimes people don’t realise what they have said or the impact they have had on someone. I think we all have a responsibility to make things better and that’s how I try to play my small part. The passage of time, age, and experience all helps with that too.
Have you got a favourite or funny moment from attending Pride?
That is such a hard question to answer - I have so many. But I would say there is nothing as beautiful as the sun shining down on the colour-bomb of Pride. Somehow the sky, the colours, the world and the people shine that much brighter - it’s the butterfly effect echoing humanity and acceptance up and down our great country - there is nothing else like it.