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IBMer Spotlight: Meet Ella Slade

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We grab a coffee with IBMers from around the world, and share our chat in this weekly spotlight series. This week you can meet Ella (they/she), from IBM UK.

In the morning, I like my coffee…
To be honest I am more of an English Breakfast tea person! But if I were to have a coffee it would be a vanilla latte!

When I get up to go to work, I look forward to… 
My morning chat with my colleague Cheya. She is based in the Philippines so we can never just ‘grab a coffee’ with one another so we make sure we have a quick catch up each morning to start our day off right! 

I am responsible for.. 
Attracting exciting new talent to IBM using social media! I manage IBM’s recruitment accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Outside of my day job I am also on the steering committee of IBM’s UK LGBT+ network. 

My typical day… 
I start off my day by checking social media to see what activity has occurred overnight and respond to any messages. Then I tend to have a few meetings on additional projects I work on. Often these will be to do with websites, social content and our employer brand. I typically end my day by scheduling some content for the coming day and preparing for meetings tomorrow. 

The coolest part of my job is…  
The people I work with! My team are a great bunch of people who are all so talented but also up for a laugh! 

The biggest challenge I have…. 
Staying on top of trends. My role is constantly changing as new social trends and platforms emerge so I have to make sure I am on top of it so we can find and attract the best talent. 

Most memorable moment in my career… 
In 2017 I was lucky enough to go to India on a project for a week, it was a great opportunity to meet colleagues from across the world and even meet our new Vice President of Talent Acquisition.  

Top piece of career advice… 
Be true to yourself and your values. Change is to be expected in any career and industry but maintaining a strong sense of who you are and what you value is key and will help you make decisions you believe in.  

IBM believes that innovation comes from seeking out and inspiring diversity in all its dimensions, and that everyone should be able to bring their whole selves to work and be who they are. How has it affected you across personal and professional lines?
Bringing my whole self to work was a bit of a no-brainer for me. I am generally quite a confident person, so that, along with IBM’s great history of inclusion meant I could be out and myself from day one!

Being able to be my authentic self has meant that I’ve formed much better relationships with my colleagues as I can talk freely without censoring myself. Imagine if you can’t chat with your team about what you did at the weekend because you’re worried you’ll mention your same sex partner, it really would hold you back from connecting with people. This has meant that I have a really strong team around me who all work fantastically together and support one another.

Not only that, but I also educate people. By having conversations with my straight colleagues about the LGBTQ+ community, I am teaching them new things and giving them an insight into a community they are not a part of. I like to think that this then has a ripple effect and they then pass this on to their friends and colleagues.

I am also a role model for others in the LGBTQ+ community. By being so open about being queer and my positive journey, others can see the benefits of being their authentic selves at work too.

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