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Charlotte Francis

When I was 15, I lost half of my hearing overnight. With the help of the fantastic National Health Service and a nasty course of steroids, I have regained some hearing, but I only have around 70% in one ear and 30% in the other – which in all honesty is pretty useless.

To add to this, I have a long list of ailments, I also suffer with chronic pain, anxiety disorder, hypermobility syndrome and I have ME/CFS, which altogether can be very hard to manage.

It took me many years to come to terms with being disabled, but now I am proud of it as it shows how much I have overcome throughout the years.

In 2016, I went on maternity leave to have my beautiful twin daughters. I had to take an extended break due to personal circumstances so, while it was not many years, I still had to face coming back to work as a ‘returner’.

Having worked in publishing since graduating in 2009, I now work in the world of PR within financial services. While I do not have the same platform to be able to talk about diversity as I had when I was a journalist, I will still talk anyone’s ear off when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

For me, we need to talk more about inclusion – and it not being just having a token woman on a board. I believe there needs to be more across ability, race, gender, age, and sexual orientation. It means so much to me to be an ambassador for the Diversity Project. I hope to one day be a mentor to other disabled people within the industry.

I live in Essex with my wonderful husband and twin daughters, who keep me very busy when I’m not working.

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Partners and Supporters are companies and organisations within the industry, who do not fall within our Member definition but share our goals and values and agree to amplify the work the Diversity Project does.

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Diversity Project Ambassadors are people with a savings and investment background who support the Project’s ambition to accelerate diversity and inclusion in our sector. They advocate inclusion and offer their time and expertise to support the Project’s activities. Please read about the role of an ambassador.