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Pride Month: Firms need to make work psychologically safe for LGBTQIA+ people – Bagley

  • 26/06/2024
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Pride Month: Firms need to make work psychologically safe for LGBTQIA+ people – Bagley
To mark and celebrate Pride Month, Mortgage Solutions is speaking to people in the mortgage and financial services sector who are also part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Mortgage Solutions has spoken to Lauren Bagley, chief distribution officer at Uinsure, about using vulnerability to be powerful and making meaningful efforts to support the LGBTQIA+ community. 


What is your favourite thing about working in financial services?

I’ve got a great network of colleagues, friends and connections in the industry, and so I feel invested in it through the experiences and opportunities I’ve had over the years. But whatever I do within it, I just love being the underdog and fighting to change that. I must explore that with a psychologist, perhaps. 

General insurance in the context of our industry is not typically the highest priority of others across wider financial services, so when you’ve got the opportunity to essentially reinvent how ‘it’s always been done’ and create more value for both customers and businesses – that’s where I thrive.


If you could give your younger self any words of wisdom, what would they be?

Don’t ever try to mould yourself to look like someone you ‘think’ you should look like to get ahead in your career. Be yourself – it’s pretty dull otherwise. 


Who in the sector inspires you most?

There are several personalities in our industry that have absolute restlessness to achieve their goals – I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few of them. I love people that operate without a shadow of doubt in their mind they are going to get there – whatever that looks like for them. The drive and energy that’s constant through the ups and downs of their journey is what inspires me most.


What has been your biggest career achievement?

Being part of a team that was brave enough to reimagine a boring product that has been badly adopted for years and recreated it, which ultimately led to an investment from a large and respected private equity house. We’re still on that journey and there’s much more to do.


What does true inclusivity mean or look like to you?

Inclusivity for me is equal opportunity and true representation at all levels where everyone can be themselves. Simple as that.


In what ways can companies or the sector as a whole do more to support the LGBTQIA+ community?  

I might be on my own here, but for me, I wince at some of the public gestures of support from businesses and their LinkedIn pages. Rather, focus on making sure it’s psychologically safe for LGBTQIA+ people to be out of the closet at work to win and retain talent. Undoubtedly, the ability to be yourself contributes to career satisfaction and overall happiness. I’d also like to see more representation at senior levels. Role models are important, and no matter how you look at it, it’s motivational to see people that have similarities to you being or becoming accomplished.

Just to add more broadly from my lens, the financial services industry is way ahead in supporting wider diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts in comparison to other industries. My advice is to keep doing what we’re doing, maintaining our commitment to inclusivity and continuing to lead by example. 


What life lesson or advice helped shape who you are today?

The power of being vulnerable. Letting down my guard and being honest, even when it feels risky, has helped me form much deeper, authentic and trusting relationships. I’ve found it also builds a real emotional strength because you confront fears and uncertainties head on; for example, learning to handle rejection, criticism and setbacks, which overall gives you a ‘thicker skin’. It’s especially useful if you are a naturally anxious but ambitious person. 

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