5 minutes with… Lindsay Lerigo

Our '5 minutes with...' series gives you the chance to learn more about the people who are working to create inclusive workplaces everyday. Here we learn more about Lindsay Lerigo, Senior Programme Manager of the Inclusive Employers Standard, our inclusion accreditation. She shares how her career led her to Inclusive Employers and what she loves most about her role.

Read on to find out.

1) Can you tell us how you came to be in your role

I started off by being actively being involved in the LGBTQ+ network in one of my previous workplaces. I started as a local rep for Leeds then later becoming co-chair, as well as co-founding Link Up North, the LGBT insurance network.

I met lots of fantastic people through these roles and widened my network. It really opened my eyes to how terrible workplaces could be at inclusion and I knew that I wanted to be part of making them better. When a secondment came up to work as a Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Advisor I put myself forward and got the role.  

From there I moved into a Responsible Business Team for a law firm, where my main focus was on I&D. When the opportunity came up to join Inclusive Employers as Programme Manager for the Inclusive Employers Standard it was such a fantastic opportunity and I was lucky enough to get it.

2) Can you share an ‘inclusion moment’ with us – a time when you have felt included either at work or in your personal life?

I am not sure there is one big moment, but I do have these daily working at Inclusive Employers. It is the small things that often people take for granted, like being able to talk about my girlfriend, what we did at the weekend, etc.

Knowing that I can truly be me and talk about all of the aspects of my life to anyone I work with, means so much. That isn’t always diversity related. Even just talking about my (often embarrassing) hobbies, it all makes me me, and I can honestly say this is the first place I have worked where I feel no judgement. Our differences, quirks and interests are celebrated.

3) What do you love most about your role?

Being able to see organisations on a journey and their progress. The role I have means I get to look an organisation as a whole when it comes to their inclusion activity.

With repeat participants of the Inclusive Employers Standard (IES) I get to see them progress on their inclusion journey to become a more Inclusive Employer. I see how much that means to them and their employees, and when that happens it is so lovely to witness.

4) What is a typical day like for you?

You will probably hear this from most of us that work at Inclusive Employers but there isn’t much of a typical day.

For me, it depends on what time of the year it is as I have a lot of work that is required around key stages of the IES rounds. This includes getting submission forms set up, guidance documents ready, people set up with logins, moderating assessments, report writing and feedback.

A big part of my role involves getting organisations interested in participating in the IES so I have sales calls with those organisations highlighting the process and answering questions they might have.

On top of the IES role I also work with some of our wonderful member organisations, catching up with them monthly and I am busy prepping for our next National Inclusion Week, so there’s lots to keep me busy!

5) What’s been you most memorable moment in your inclusion career?

It’s hard to pick out just one! But I think I have to say when I got involved in Link, the northern branch of the LGBT Insurance Network.

Before this, I had just been working quite locally in an LGBTQ+ network. Expanding my own network outside of the organisation I was working in, meeting people from different businesses, hearing a breadth of experiences gave me much better insight into I&D activity in organisations and the impact, or lack of, on employees.

I expanded my own skillset and knowledge around I&D and honestly do not think I would have the career I do now without it. Some of the people I met through Link have been incredible role models and mentors and will be friends for life!

To meet more people that make inclusion an everyday reality, see our full series of “5 minutes with…”