Meet Jill Scott – Consultant and Trainer specializing in equality, diversity and inclusion
With more than 25 years of experience, Jill is an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Expert providing consultancy services on both Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter to a number of higher education institutions. In addition to this, she also provides training on gender and race equality, bullying and harassment issues and other EDI topics.
Jill grew up in a working-class family in North London. With an injured father and a mother who had to look after six children, the family did not have much money. However, she considers herself very fortunate to be able to attend one of the best grammar schools in the country, which she credits for helping her build a successful business. Jill says, “One of my teachers at school suggested I apply to University and this put me on the road to success.”
Before starting a venture of her own, Jill worked for higher education organizations for many years in various roles. However, it was only when her children finished school that she could focus on the jobs she really enjoyed. This included training and sharing her knowledge with people. Talking about her experience, Jill mentions that, “It was scary but exciting at the same time. I already had some contacts who were keen to engage my services, so I never really looked back from that time to this. I have now established a new business to develop my courses and products remotely so that I can reach a wider audience and have a bit more free time.”
Currently, Jill’s company focuses on a range of equality, diversity and inclusion issues and delivers remote and in-person training courses. They also offer a range of other training materials such as workbooks which are extremely popular and have received positive feedback. Her team is currently focusing on developing a new training programme to share their expertise and equip a new generation of highly skilled equality, diversity and inclusion practitioners.
A worldwide interest in gender equality from the #MeToo movement, and an increased awareness of race equality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder have increased demand for Jill’s companies. This is set to increase further in the future as many organizations have expressed interest in training their staff to learn more about fairness and equality, helping individuals to maximize their growth and potential.
Over the years, Jill has experienced much more freedom to work, enjoying opportunities that align with her own values. She says, “I am able to choose my own staff and take my work in whichever direction I see fit. The main benefit of running your own business is that you are not subject to other people’s biases as when you are working for someone else – I can try out something and if it doesn’t work, I can simply learn from that without any negative feedback and without having to justify my decisions. I believe self-employment is often a great way for women to demonstrate their capabilities and to create a far better work-life balance for themselves.”
Jill’s customers have been incredibly supportive of their work, and the company enjoys repeat business from many clients through word-of-mouth recommendations, rarely, if ever, having to advertise their services. They are also expanding their online training, and so are gearing up to develop websites and online marketing for the next phase of their growing journey.
Jill’s aim is to reach new audiences and organizations, and support them in working towards developing fairer and more equitable organizations and cultures across the world.
Concluding with Jill’s own words of motivation, “Many women have far greater capabilities than they are allowed to show in their workplace – if you know you are good at something, take the plunge and go for it. You will learn so much about yourself, even if you don’t succeed at first – and many of you will be successful beyond your wildest dreams. Be brave, be bold and be willing to learn from others – and the world is your oyster.”