In our third episode of The Progression Puzzle, we welcome Geoffrey Williams, Vice President / Global Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Burberry.
Geoffrey did not aspire to have a corporate career, he had dreams of working in the music industry. He pushed to attend the prestigious BRITs schools overcoming many obstacles to achieve this. After he had accomplished his childhood dreams, he decided to pivot his career towards a corporate challenge.
Geoffrey has overcome many obstacles to accomplish a multitude of achievements that most people could only ever dream about. It has taken him a number of years to feel comfortable enough to show his authentic self within the corporate environment. He has overcome imposter syndrome and now uses his position to advise Burberry and other senior executives on issues around diversity and inclusion.
A theme that runs throughout the podcast is his drive to achieve through adversity. This chat is an inspiring insight into the varied career of a man who has achieved great things within the corporate and entertainment world.
Hosted by Michael Barrington-Hibbert, this is a conversation that will provide you with insightful advice on how to pivot careers, how to overcome imposter syndrome and how to show up as your authentic self.
* This podcast was recorded before Geoffrey began his new role at Burberry.
00:04 - Introduction to The Progression Puzzle
00:59 - Introduction to Geoffrey Williams
02:07 - Geoffrey's role as Global Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Dr Martens
03:59 - How have conversations around diversity and inclusion changed within organisations over the last 18 months
06:44 - The difficulties with coaching people to understand why diversity is important within organisations and society as a whole
08:47 - Geoffrey's early career in entertainment
12:26 - Geoffrey's early education and determination to attend the BRIT school even with multiple factors against him
15:25 - Origins of Geoffrey's focus and determination
17:18 - Geoffrey's short films career
20:10 - Expressing his authentic self through fashion
21:53 - Overcoming imposter syndrome and showing up as his authentic self
28:26 - Navigating the challenges of his dyslexia
33:53 - How did Geoffrey approach board meetings as a Black Gay man with dyslexia
36:24 - The importance of mentors and Geoffrey's mentors
37:38 - Advice to Geoffrey's 18-year-old self
38:49 - Geoffrey's most rebellious act
39:34 - Summary of the podcast
Connect with your host, Michael Barrington-Hibbert, on LinkedIn
Find your guest, Geoffrey Williams, on LinkedIn
Thanks for listening to our conversations on The Progression Puzzle, brought to you by Barrington Hibbert Associates
This podcast is a Loaded Hype production