Name: Samantha Morgan-Nicholson
Role: Regional Manager – North East
Organisation: British Triathlon Federation
How does your identity relate to your work?
For most of my career, I’ve been comfortable and open about being gay. This allows me to focus on my role within an organisation, build relationships with colleagues and be open about my life. It was positive to be able to involve colleagues when I was going through IVF treatment. I was poorly from medication and the everyday support from those around me was important.
My wife and I both work in the sport sector and we feel comfortable in the workplace. We’ve had positive experiences playing, coaching and spectating sport. We now have a little boy – our workplaces have been very supportive with maternity and paternity leave, as well as flexible working hours to accommodate childcare.
Do you feel comfortable being out at work?
I do feel comfortable being out at work. I think it’s important to make a connection with the people around you. That includes talking about your loved ones – especially your partner and children.
Straight out of university, I was lucky to get a job in sport at a council. But I wasn't confident about coming out to my colleagues at that time. However, as my confidence in myself and the job grew, I told a few people about my life and nobody batted an eyelid about it. It was a relief – I didn’t feel like I was lying anymore, and I could let them know how my actual weekend was.
Why are role models important?
I think it’s important to be able to relate to, and identify with, others like you and see what’s possible. I’m involved in LGBT work at my organisation, so those who are not comfortable being out can hopefully be comfortable talking to me and other allies.
My hope is that employers see the value of creating an open and inclusive working environment, where people from the LGBTQ+ community can reach their true potential. I hope that sexuality is not a defining feature for people and that we’re classed as the 'norm' in all situations – in life, family, marriage and work.