The DEI Agenda


I actually started my working life in the UK Civil Service in 1982. In those days, sexism was endemic in the workplace and I’m certain that my experience was utterly inconsequential to the experiences of any gay or female colleagues at that time.


But, one of the most fearful things a young clerical officer had to do was to visit the typing pool. Every week I had to take documents to be typed up to one of the clerical assistants (female) who would type it up for my boss, an engineer (male).


I remember my first visit to the typing pool, I was greeted by Della the ringleader ….as I walked in she said the immortal words ‘Ooh look girls, new meat’.  I would laugh, go red and mutter something and walk out. The situation was shamefully reversed whenever Della would return the typing to our all-male office. 


The reason I thought I would tell you this story is not because I feel that I was a victim of anything sinister but because I am grateful that the whole work atmosphere has reversed in the vast majority of places we have worked in the last twenty years.

However, that is a very privileged position for me to take as a middle-aged, white, heterosexual man.  


When I look around now in 2024 and see the giant strides taken, I am broadly optimistic that those sexist, racist, homophobic days are behind us. But beware! There is still a powerful community of people who hanker for the way it was.


I'm certain when I ask any of my female colleagues, they will tell you that they have still experienced sexism in the workplace and even though it is not as overt as the wolf whistles, inappropriate physical contact or even the terrifying typing pool, those micro aggressions and mini-inequities undoubtedly still exist.


At Purple Monster we try to ensure that those things are not accepted…. none of us would claim to be angels, none of us would claim to not have biases, but we are working to being consistently more equitable, more inclusive and more aware.