5 minutes with… Sean Childerley - Inclusive Employers

5 minutes with… Sean Childerley

'5 minutes with...' is our interview series that gives you the opportunity to learn more about the Inclusive Employers team and other I&D professionals who are working to make inclusion a reality every day.

Here we learn more about Sean Childerley, Inclusion and Diversity Consultant at Inclusive Employers.

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

I’ve held quite a diverse range of roles over two decades spanning the changing landscape of Media and the evolution of Inclusion and Diversity. My early career in sales was working with a large newspaper group and my time there saw me grow a broad business and commercial skillset as well as develop a strong management discipline. I also spent around 10 years in the Broadcast industry working with some of the UK’s best known radio brands. Media is where I first became involved in Learning and Development, and I’ve spent the best part of 20 years heading commercial teams alongside L&D responsibilities.

A few years back I got the opportunity to work freelance and it was during that time I was introduced to Inclusive Employers. I’d already spent some time volunteering for a couple of LGBTQ+ organisations and my roles within senior leadership teams meant that I had lots of experience in managing and leading people and departments. I took the opportunity to wrap these things together and decided to really focus on the I&D work, and I became an associate for Inclusive Employers, working on a freelance basis.

At the end of 2021 I was thinking about how I wanted to spend my time moving forward. Freelance work was enjoyable, but I knew I wanted to do something more permanent. I already knew some of the people at Inclusive Employers, I really loved the work that they were doing so it seemed like a logical choice to apply for the I&D Consultant role, and here I am.

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

To me, inclusion in simple terms is feeling fully embraced by someone, a team, or a company. It’s being able to be your absolute self without holding back or making certain parts of who you are smaller.  My husband and I have been together over 20 years and I haven’t always felt able to be myself, to be fully open, to refer to him as ‘husband’ without hesitation or without thinking about the response I’ll get. However, working at Inclusive Employers has enabled me to lose the hesitation and I proudly speak about my husband without having to think about editing myself in any way.

3. What do you love most about your role?

I really like it when you get to see those moments of realisation, of learning or understanding that’s new to people. You might call them the ‘aha’ moments. I’ve pretty much been a lifelong learner, and I really value moments of self-actualisation and as a professional I really enjoy spending time with others, being able to support their own learning journey. Delivering things like Allyship Programs are always enjoyable because everyone can be an ally and we can all play a part in making our workspaces as inclusive as possible.

4. What is a typical day like for you?

I work with around 25 members, and I also work with non-members. As part of my consultant role I also manage our digital product offering, so a typical day for me can include customer support around either consultancy or training, it could be developing some digital content, or writing new training material. I work from home so I use Teams a lot for meetings, but from time to time I may be required to deliver face to face, which I really enjoy.

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

It’s always nice to get some positive feedback about how much people have enjoyed a session that you’ve delivered. It’s even nicer to hear that a session has had a positive impact on a person. I delivered an LGBQT+ Trans session several months ago and following the session a member of staff at the company I was delivering to came out as Trans to their workplace. I don’t know what specifically registered for that person during the session, but I’m really happy that someone was able to open up about themselves and to turn up the volume on who they are.