Learn about Amelia Mugridge’s journey as a Commercial Contracts Analyst at Serco, her advocacy for inclusion, and her perspectives on acceptance and representation of intersectional identity groups.

Tell us about your accomplishments to date?

Talking about accomplishments doesn’t come easy to me, it feels very surreal to look back on what I have done so far!

Breaking it down, I’d say my main accomplishments are creating an environment where people can feel safe to bring their true authentic selves to work and facilitating a safe space for people to talk, express their feelings, or ask questions they may be otherwise embarrassed to ask. I am an advocate for “everyday simple acts of inclusion”. Rather than a few people carrying the mantle, if everyone feels safe to learn, ask questions, and support our Rainbow Family, then we can all grow together. I never want people to be afraid to ask a question because they might put their foot in it. Come and have a chat and we will dig you out together. Then we both have learned something.

There is still a long way to go, but I am seeing positive changes and people really coming out of their shell. The one thing that will really stick with me is a fabulous lady in our company who has been out for years saying: “I have never felt ashamed of who or what I am, but suddenly I feel different about it all – that’s because of you and your team”. So I guess this is just all a long winded way to say that my biggest achievement is people being empowered to be authentically them.

What are the barriers in representing many intersectional identity groups?

How long is a piece of string?

As a bisexual woman with a long-term health condition, I feel like I can hover between so many groups. I’m a huge advocate for intersectionality as I don’t flip a coin and decide which identity group I’m going to be in today.

I’m going to pick a mildly controversial answer for a barrier: fear.

People are scared of what they don’t know. People are scared of how others may react. People are scared of trying and getting it wrong. People are scared of not getting accepted.

I have seen so much change when facilitating an environment of empowerment and safety. The barriers come down, and we can all grow together.

As for other barriers? Speaking from a corporate setting, one of the biggest barriers I have seen for the representation of many intersectional identity groups is the lack of support from a company. Inclusion Networks are run by truly passionate individuals who strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion. They can not flourish in a company that doesn’t support them or puts blockers in their path.

Do you think acceptance is improving?

Going to go for a proper legal answer here: it depends.

I have seen acceptance go both forwards and backwards in recent years. Our trans family are facing so much vile backlash from the media and politicians in the US and the UK that I am genuinely scared for the future. It seems like we take one step forward and 3 steps back. There is no LGB without the T, and we will always stand in solidarity with our whole rainbow family.

In work? I work within the Defence sector, which as we know hasn’t had the best start on its inclusion journey, but every day I am seeing changes. Every day we move closer to more acceptance, not matter what underrepresented group you are a part of. I am genuinely proud of the work that is being done to create a safe environment for people within the sector.

What does been nominated in your category mean to you?

I honestly cannot put into words how honoured I am to have been nominated and to stand amongst the incredible and inspirational people in the Top 12 Future Leaders.

I’m going to borrow some of my own words from last year: I promise to never stop loving. To never stop fighting. To never stop pushing for a world where we can bring our true authentic selves to work every day regardless of who we are, who we love, or how we identify. I want this nomination to be a platform for more voices to be heard from our vibrant community.

I promise to never stop pushing in my day job either. I love being in the Legal sphere in Commercial Contracts and I adore being in the Defence sector. My goal is to push myself to flourish and make new headway in my career, and one day be able to have achieved what this list has nominated me for: a Leader.

Here is to a future bursting with colour and pride!