It might seem strange for the chair of Stonewall to feel uncomfortable coming out to colleagues. But when I became group brand director at Aviva, my first position in the City, I decided to keep quiet about this aspect of my identity.
I had been married for 16 years to a wonderful man when astonishingly, in 2008, I fell in love with a woman. I was working for British Gas at the time and colleagues were supportive when I told them. They could see how upsetting it was coming so out the blue.
After coming out in one workplace, I then left to join Aviva. People I respect advised me to establish myself as a marketing professional and a senior woman in the male-dominated City before coming out. They were trying to help me, so I took the decision to keep quiet about being gay.