On the 5th anniversary of Principality Building Society’s annual Pride celebrations for colleagues, a very special guest dialled in for a virtual coffee and chat.
Former international rugby union referee Nigel Owens MBE joined Cuppa Club to discuss the impact of coming to terms with his sexuality and the impact on his mental health.
Cuppa Clubs are open to all employees at Principality Building Society, and are held regularly to unite and inspire the team of over 1,150, with previous guest speakers including broadcasters Jason Mohammad and Lucy Owen, and Sophie Howe, the world’s only Future Generations Commissioner.
Discussing the event, Nigel said: “Growing up in West Wales, my road with acceptance has not been an easy one. As a young professional, I’d never met a gay person and I ‘didn’t want to be gay’, this led to struggling with mental illness and trying to cope through self-harm, before becoming the first openly gay man in professional rugby.
“I believe in the importance of listening and having somewhere to turn. The ‘get on with it’ narrative of 23 years ago is simply not OK today, which fits into the importance of Pride Month and mental health. It was great speaking to the Principality team to share my experience and hope it helps others who may find themselves in similar positions, or might know people who are.”
Iain Mansfield, Chief Operating Officer and Pride Network Executive Sponsor at Principality, said: “We first celebrated Pride Month internally in 2018 and since then our celebrations and activities have gone from strength to strength and I’m thrilled to be a part of this important awareness month with the Pride Network, who I’ve been lucky enough to work so closely with since their formation nearly five years ago.
“We’re grateful that Nigel Owens was able to join colleagues for the Cuppa Club event, as I know his own experiences have already inspired so many, including myself, and I hope it has done the same for those who attended.
“It was a great opportunity for us to engage with our colleagues and share some important messages this Pride Month.”