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Whistle-stop Wednesdays: Championing Diversity and Inclusion at Work

Holly Needs is our Diversity and Inclusion Lead. Read her career story below! 

I joined Admiral 19 years ago, having spent more than half of my career in our sites in Canada and India in a variety of leadership and coaching roles. My current role, which I’ve been in for a year and a half, is Diversity and Inclusion Lead. 

I’ve grown up with Admiral, starting here in my first real job, handling our customers’ queries and studying to be a teacher. My tutor pulled me aside one day and asked me to really consider my career choices because he was sure I enjoyed my job at Admiral more than college. My Managing Director had been giving me coaching and training opportunities in work and I thought maybe I could combine my two passions, teaching and Admiral. Soon enough I was successful in becoming a Team Manager/Trainer, which led onto my role as Training Manger in Canada where I lived for five years, in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, before moving over to Bangalore, India as Operations Manager for six years. I loved working abroad and feel very lucky to have met the most amazing people over the years, but when I got married and had my son, I knew that I wanted to come home. 

So, we made the journey back to the UK in 2018 and in just under a year I moved to People Services (PS) which has been the most incredible career move I’ve ever made from working on a regulatory change to managing the Graduate, Internship and Talent Agility Programme to later moving into my current role of Diversity and Inclusion Lead, there’s been lots going on. What I love most about my role is that my strengths and values are being utilised every single day! Since joining the department, I’ve won two awards, first the Culture Champion 2020 and recently the Going the Extra Mile 2021.  

I’ve always been passionate about driving forward our Admiral culture, and part of this is making sure we break down any barriers to entry and progression. I believe with the right attitude and hard work, everyone has the chance to be successful here. I’m really proud to have a five-year diversity and inclusion plan that helps us all work together to continue driving forward positive change. 

Having a strong focus on diversity and inclusion here means we can attract, develop, promote and retain the very best talent. Our networks have done a phenomenal job at promoting and raising awareness and my role compliments this by placing a diversity and inclusion lens over everything we do. 

I’m excited to launch our refreshed internal diversity and inclusion hub which allows all colleagues to access resources such as education and reading materials, see what our groups are up to and how to get involved. It’s also going to be a place to share our colleague storytelling campaign called I Belong. Plus, we’ve launched a space to recognise our standout colleagues who we call our Inclusion Champions.  

I feel truly valued here and get to help even more people to feel a sense of belonging, and I feel I’m really making a difference. We always strive to be the company of choice, a safe space where everyone can be themselves and succeed! 

 

Read more about diversity and inclusion at Admiral. 

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