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Entrepreneur of the Year

Gina Battye

Renowned LGBT+ Coach, Trainer and Inclusion Consultant Becomes SuperAchievers Finalist

Gina is a world-renowned LGBT+ coach, trainer and inclusion consultant for leading global organisations.

Before starting her own business she worked as a teacher. She started her teaching career working 1-2-1 with ex-offenders in probation offices across West Yorkshire. Gina says "it was during that time I had my first glance of being out of integrity with the self." It was this realisation that sparked her interest in authenticity. In her next career move, Gina worked as a teacher in an FE college for around 10 years and it was during this time that Gina's career took a transformative step.

While working in a FE college as a teacher, Gina endured a series of hate incidents at work, including a significant period of bullying. This had a dramatic effect on not just her mental health, but her physical health too. Having eventually plucked up the courage to report the bullying, and present a wealth of evidence, Gina was told not to progress the case any further because it would highlight her sexual orientation to colleagues and peers. This experience is the driving force on why Gina is now so passionate about helping others.

When asked how she overcame these challenges she said, "by working on myself (my mindset, beliefs, how I respond in stress situations and the triggers I have) and reconnecting me to my authentic real self, I realised that I was wearing a mask to work, hiding who I really was. In my next role, I came out as gay. Doing this inner work really helped me to understand myself. I learnt that I was showing up with an 'acquired' identity and decided to define my true self."

These challenges she set herself have reaped the rewards. In 2010 she started her own business with the aim of inspiring others to find their authentic self. She says, "it's about defining who you want to be, not what others want you to be; sharing the real you with the world and following your heart to do service driven, heart-based work."

Gina now speaks at events worldwide and works with organisations, helping them to adopt good practice in the workplace, and to promote a culture of inclusion. Gina explains that "as a child I always wanted to be on stage, in front of the camera and delivering a message to tens of thousands of people - to change their lives! I gained the skills to do that through my teaching career and now I am doing that through my business!"

When asked why she would like to win this award, Gina said "to inspire the LGBT+ community that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. LGBT+ are often overlooked for promotions, awards and struggle compared to their heterosexual, cisgendered counterparts. If we break down our old conditioning and expectations others have of us, we can do anything. I want to inspire more people to show up as their true selves and to drop the masks they are wearing. Winning this award would inspire a whole community of people to be themselves and follow their hearts. Just as I did. It is possible."

Gina epitomises a SuperAchiever; showing strength through adversity and dedicating herself to inspire thousands of people in their own lives and career. Her advice to anyone thinking of starting their own business? "Take the leap. The other side is closer than you can imagine."

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