Everyday Extraordinary interview: Anne Sylvester

Anne Sylvester is Senior Diversity Manager for a central government department and an experienced equality campaigner. She also works as a freelance consultant advising companies and individuals on all diversity and inclusion issues.

Everyday Extraordinary

Describe yourself in one sentence

I am experienced and resourceful, tenacious and resilient, with a reputation for getting things done.

What role has equality played in your life?

It has been pivotal and central throughout my life. Nothing angers me more than unfairness and that is what equality is all about, everyone being able to reach their full potential, despite any difference they may have. I started many years ago when I realised that employers could pay women less for doing an identical job, simply because they felt like it. So my first formal brush with Equality was celebrating the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970 – the first ever piece of UK equality legislation. The rest as they say is history....

What advantages would more equality bring to the UK ?

Huge advantages. We would be utilising the best talent from the widest pool, bringing to the table different ways of thinking, which would result in an enriched society and massive business benefits.

Describe any important turning points for you

There are so many. The Equal Pay Act as previously described; the de-criminalisation of homosexuality; having children who have turned into two wonderful and completely inclusive young men with whom I can discuss anything. Professionally, accepting a job in London late in life and realising the number of equality and diversity groups and organisations that exist and being able to tap into that resource to influence change.

What helps to inspire you?

Looking back and realising how far we have come. There is still a long way to go, however, and I am still hungry to make a difference. Seeing people from minority groups succeed and flourish, people like Jane Cordell. Watching barriers be removed and hoping that I might have played a small part in that.

Want to contact Anne? Send us a message and we will put you in touch.


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