My name is Jo Martin and I’m a Partner Manager within In Life here at Virgin Media Business (VMB). I look after some of our strategic partners within our Partner Eco System and I’ve worked here for seven years.
Supporting inclusion week is so important to me, I can proudly share that I identify as lesbian and I’m also dyslexic. To me, these aren’t just words or labels, being lesbian and being dyslexic is who I am. My identity is what I believe in, my values, my hopes and dreams.
I understand that being yourself is sometimes hard, wondering what others may think or worrying that you might be judged. I have experienced this too. My journey coming out wasn’t easy but I feel it’s important to share. It was in June that I came out to my husband, which as you can imagine, didn’t exactly get the best reaction. Leaving my home, I went to my best friends house and after an hour of crying I built up the courage to come out to her too. Her words surprised me, she said “ I have known since you were 13” all I remember thinking was – thanks for that, why didn’t you tell me?
After this, I now give myself permission everyday to just be myself. The truth is no one judges and people can be more understanding than you might think. I lead with a very open approach, for instance, I face daily challenges at work because of my dyslexia, it’s not just spelling things like does and dose or sing and sign, but I also struggle with remembering peoples names. I have to approach tasks differently at times. However, I find my colleagues extremely supportive. There are always people who are willing to help by doing things like proof reading work for me and I feel so fortunate to have really great managers who support me, completely.
We are all people, individually brilliant and collectively awesome. It’s about respecting everyone and celebrating our individuality, having fun, learning about each other and sharing our experiences. At the end of the day, we all deserve to feel like we belong.