Last week, we had the great pleasure to welcome Ava Rollason, a post-op transgender woman, to our London office for an inspiring talk about her life and career as a member of the transgender community.
In the spirit of LGBT Pride Month, we invited Ava to share her experiences as a transgender woman and discuss how staffing companies, such as SThree, can help support and manage diverse candidates through the recruitment process, both internally and externally with clients.
Ava also held an informal Q&A session at the end of her talk where the almost 100 people attending the event had the unique opportunity to ask questions related to LGBT situations they had already encountered or might come across with their colleagues, candidates and clients.
The main goal of this event was to help raise awareness within SThree of the transgender community, how their working life can be different and how we can all contribute to building a diverse and inclusive environment, and supporting our clients to do the same.
Ava’s extraordinary story
As part of the afternoon, Ava also talked about her life; here’s a glimpse of her inspiring story.
“My name is Ava Rollason and I am a post-op Transgender Woman.”
“My story starts with being a teenage 'rent boy' in New York in the mid-70s, a time of hedonistic excess of clubbing, and finishes with me now – confident, happy and a completely different person!”
“This journey has been a rollercoaster ride of change, both physically and emotionally. Now my role in life is to educate and inform people what it’s really like to go through such a life changing ordeal.”
“I also worked for the NHS as a Healthcare Assistant for about 20 years, up until March when I retired.”
“Now I work as a Transgender Activist. I'm in great demand with the media and large organisations, I have worked with the BBC, Norfolk Police and Norfolk Social Service. I have also made a training video for Circle Housing and had my picture taken for an exhibition of Women of Diversity.”
An eye-opening experience
After the talk we captured some feedback from our employees who attended, which was positive throughout.
Toyin Julius, Global HR Policy Manager
“What a great talk! Ava is an amazing woman and has had an eventful life. I really felt that as a speaker she had more to give than just her story. I left with a great confidence boost and hope we will have her back soon.”
Johannes Donat, Associate Sales Team Manager
“It was a great pleasure to get to know Ava. I found it very inspiring and think it’s crucial to keep on organising such get-togethers. These events not only raise awareness of an important topic but also open your eyes. I have never met a transgender woman before and it is great for everyone to see and understand her and what she's been through.”
Abby Gelder, Talent Acquisition Consultant
“This talk was really insightful and definitely has given me some useful information around how to best help and support people who are going through a similar situation.”“Besides, as far as I know, no other recruitment company of our size has done anything like this, which shows how progressive we are around Inclusion & Diversity and LGBT. I’d love to see more talks like this.”
Taz Khan, Senior Recruitment Consultant
“This was truly an engaging and eye-opening talk. It’s great that we are addressing these current topics and help raise awareness of them within the workplace and among colleagues.”
If you have any questions about upcoming events, LGBT awareness or anything else related to this topic, please feel free to send an email to [email protected]; and if you are interested in joining a company that puts inclusion and diversity at the heart of everything they do, then browse our most recent career opportunities in the United Kingdom.