Employee of the Year Award
For most of his career, Gary had hidden his sexuality for fear of it hindering his career progression or alienating him from colleagues, until he joined Mitie. From that day, he has continuously promoted and supported others from all diverse backgrounds, going above and beyond his role as Director. He is now the founding member of MITIE’s Diversity Steering Group. As part of the Group he became ‘Race Champion’ and Champion for LGBT&Q. This gave powerful impetus throughout other diversity groups, where he became the Joint Chair for MITIE’s LGBTQ Network ‘Proud to be’, and more recently launched Mitie’s BAME Network ‘Kaleidoscope’. Gary is also an Advisory Board Member for the Association for Black Engineers, and was also the Mitie lead person for the ‘Lives Not Knives‘ Mentoring Scheme. In addition, Gary has set ‘Community Reach Targets’, which have enabled Mitie to reach out to over 8,000 students and Young Adults through ‘Business & U,’ which targets diverse communities, schools and colleges to spark a thought of a career within the STEM Sector.
What impact has the award had on you?
I used to see myself as a flawed person more to do with my own personal difficult journey. It has given me more confidence, strength to follow my convictions and belief.
Has the award motivated you to continue your phenomenal work in this field?
I don’t need any motivation as I remember where I came from and was the youngest of four two boys and two girls. My father left my Mother for another Woman while she was carrying me. We lived in two rooms for the first 4 years of my life and had to share a bathroom with another family……Life lesson as I fully understand how tough it out there for those struggling to survive or better themselves, especially those from the Diversity…..and don’t even start me on Brexit!!!
An insight into your journey since receiving your accolade?
I was selected as one of three men in the UK to speak at an event called ‘Inspire Like A Man’ where I finally told my personal story. I’m also a finalist for the ‘Race Equality Awards for the Champion and Executive Sponsor Award’ on the 11th October…….Can a White Gay Man win this type of Award who knows, making a difference is the real reward and that’s what I’m about and I have had more than enough recognition. My Apprenticeship Programme which is inclusive of BAME, Gender LBGT&Q, & Disability goes on from strength to strength and has been selected finalist PFM Awards which will be amazing for our Young Professional.
A brief reflection on the night itself?
Shocked, stunned to be announced the Winner and very very emotional after coming off stage after accepting the Awards. I got to share the night with close colleagues from work, including my Son Grant and Daughter in Law Jade, but most of all my Mum who came to the night.
Any feedback you have had since winning the award?
I was invited to attend the David Lammy MP Review – Trust in the Criminal Justice System. Where David is leading an independent review sponsored by the Ministry of Justice to investigate the treatment and outcomes of BAME individuals within the Criminal Justice System. I am also working closely with Heathrow on their Sustainability Partnership and leading Diversity and Community Engagement alongside them. I’m also be asked more and more Guest Speaking which has been amazing.
What the ceremony/award meant to you?
Being around so many inspiration people and our Diversity Family has been life changing not only for me, but for those who trust me to help them as this recognition is for them.