SENIOR ROLE MODEL
Director of Market Oversight
JULIA HOGGETT | The Financial Conduct Authority
The best thing about your career/work – Given my background is as both a debt capital markets investment banker and as an issuer, I have spent a great deal of my career hugely focused on both the primary and secondary markets. I have a passion for the important role that financial markets play, not just in ensuring that governments, financials, corporations and other entities can raise the money they need to invest in the real economy, but also so that individuals with pension funds, insurance contracts and asset portfolios can benefit fairly from the returns the real economy has the potential to provide. Playing a part in ensuring that the markets function effectively and are clean and transparent is hugely important to me both on a personal and professional level and actually having a job that has the potential to have a positive impact on the way the markets function is the one of the most rewarding things I could have hoped to do for a living.
Why you think being out is important – I have had the privilege of having a number of hugely important mentors and role models in my career and number of whom I also have the honour to call friends. The one thing that I have observed about those I admire most is the fact that they are the same people, carry the same values, think the same way and importantly, show the same compassion, in the office as they do away from it. That ability to be themselves in the workplace, to be authentic and not to create a manufactured persona is I think what drew me to many of them in the first place. When one is in the closet it can feel like a very lonely place where one is expending a great deal of energy maintaining the façade. I came out essentially at the invitation of one of my mentors almost 20 years ago now and almost instantaneously I felt that loneliness gone and that expended energy saved. I could direct my energies to what mattered most to me my family, my friends and my work in an equal and equally open fashion. I cannot tell you if my career would have been the same if I had not come out, but I suspect I would not have felt as at home, as welcomed and as supported as I have in the organisations in which I have worked and I sincerely doubt I would have been as effective. It is for each individual to make their own decisions and to live their life and manage their career as they wish, but I am convinced that I am more effective as an employee, as a manager, as a leader and as a colleague than I ever would have been if I had not come out at work.
Your own inspirational role model (straight or gay) – Without sounding trite, I am lucky enough to have too many to choose from and they have been former bosses, clients, colleagues, family members and friends (some might say I collect role models). Perhaps the greatest role models I have found most recently, have not been from amongst the ranks of those more senior than me however, but from those more junior members of the teams I have worked in. Their enthusiasm, their willingness to explore new ideas, their often almost guileless absence of some of the hang ups that my generation might have had is both refreshing and inspirational. Too often we look up for role models when we should look all around for role models.
How and what was the reaction to you coming out?
This was a long time ago now, but I was exceptionally lucky, the primary reaction to my coming out amongst my friends was ‘finally, you’ve figured it out, we’ve been waiting…’ This was swiftly followed by love, acceptance and taking me out dancing! Having been out at work for so long now, I still know that there is a degree of ‘re-outing’ yourself you need to do every time you join a new environment, but over the last several years I have observed far more people wanting to feel that I trusted them with the information and therefore they are glad to be told rather than any adverse reaction. I know I have been and continue to be exceptionally lucky in that regard.