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My career

As Senior Data Analyst at NPL, my workday is usually split in two ways. I am often working through high volumes of data and pulling out information to look at trends. The second part is focussed on AI community practises, which included talking on committees and boards.

Another important part of my life at NPL is being part of the LGBTQ+ network and looking after the well-being of colleagues and helping to nurture the community.


My challenges

I’ll always face career limitations, for example, the first time I had an interview as a transgender woman I could tell they didn’t want me as the face of their organisation or the fact that there are countries, I used to work in that I could never safely go back to.

It might be really scary to be yourself but it’s better to live a life visible than a life in hiding.


My advice

It might be really scary to be yourself but it’s better to live a life visible than a life in hiding. It has taken me the longest part of my life to learn that, and I wish I could tell my younger self to be more confident.

I think that being part of a community that’s on the outside and the edge of things, actually helped me in many professional situations. We often observe differences and issues not being in the mainstream.


Read Maya's full story

My experience

The experience I want to talk about today started in 2020 when I realised after many losses that I couldn’t carry a baby, so my husband and I were looking for alternative routes to have our own biological child. Our eventual chosen outcome was to pursue surrogacy.

If I hadn’t of received the support I did, I would have had to leave because I wouldn’t have been able to cope.


My challenges 

I had kept this journey very private at work and only told my manager when I had to and needed to discuss maternity leave. Legally I knew I was entitled to full parental leave, but the details were a little cloudy.  

What impressed me from the start, when I first told NPL and my line manager at the time, was the support I received across the organisation. Our HR policy didn’t specifically mention surrogacy, but I was immediately told that I didn’t have to worry and that I’d be entitled to maternity leave. By the time I was back to work from my maternity leave, there was an updated maternity adoption and surrogacy policy in place. I’m proud to have been part of breaking that barrier down.  

My advice

My advice to anyone experiencing a big issue in their personal life is to talk to your colleagues. Even a small circle of people because it will make everyday life and coming to work much easier.  


Read Fiona's full story

My career

I started off back in 1979 as a 16 year old school-leaver going into an apprenticeship with, what at the time was called, Post Office, which later became British Telecoms. I was working in their test department and that meant, as a young person, I was not only going to college to learn about electronics and telecommunications, but I was also getting hands on experience in laboratories.

Over the years I had several jobs at various laboratories across the country until I joined NPL in 2017. I started working in business development and moved to work in NPL’s Huddersfield site as the laboratory manager.

My challenges

Throughout my career there have been a couple of challenges. We used to have a school's career service, which was terrible back in the day. I remember my careers advisor saying to me, what do you want to do? I said, “I want be a scientist”. They said “No, that's not for you. You should go into banking.”

Interact with as many people as you can. Think positively of everybody.


My advice

Be open and honest about your feelings about things. Share your thoughts. Interact with as many people as you can. Think positively of everybody.


Read Andy's story

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