One of the first openly gay pilots in the Forces, Matt Lindley’s career has been defined by his bravery to live unapologetically as himself. Transforming the way in which the industry views diversity, Matt has pursued his dream no matter the adversity faced and inspires others to do the same through his life story. As a speaker Matt uses his experiences in the Royal Air Force to educate corporate clients on the need for a diverse and inclusive company culture and the benefits it will bring.
Best known for his esteemed military career, Matt joined the Armed Forces in 1995 and was one of the first openly gay pilots to secure a position due to the ban of LGBT+ people in the sector. Despite initial hostility, through education and resilience from Matt, he was able to transform the culture from within, harbouring an inclusive attitude. From gaining his qualification as a flying instructor to being responsible for transporting the Royal Family, Matt proved that passion and dedication can overcome any adversity.
Since leaving the Forces in 2007, Matt has continued his impressive aviation career and is currently a Commercial Airline Pilot. Additionally, he is the Head of Human Performance Factors, a role which allows him to draw on decades of experience in risk management, reducing human error and enhancing performance to support change in the pharmaceutical sector.
Currently, Matt is pioneering change, such as he did in the military, in all industries through his venture as the CEO and Founder of Propel Performance Limited. Conducting speaking engagements on diversity, Matt shares anecdotes from his career and advice on being an inclusive leader to break down the barriers faced by many LGBT+ people in the workplace.
“I cannot recommend Matt highly enough. He talked to the Close Brothers community about his journey and it resonated incredibly well with all colleagues, not just those from the LQBQT community. His candour and honesty really connected with people, and the ties with wider mental wellness and resilience were incredibly topical given the current pandemic. His humour shone through and it was one of the best received external speakers we have had to date. A thorough recommendation…”
“Matt is a very engaging speaker who really knows his stuff – he uses diverse case studies across sectors to illustrate his points expertly well. I left the training as if I had really learnt something”
“I was fortunate enough to listen to Matt speak at a recent LGBT diversity and inclusion event. Matt shared his own journey as a gay man growing up and achieving his dream to be a pilot which took him the macho world of the RAF and how throughout this time he kept his sexuality bottled. He was able to thread into this the impact that sustained stress and stressful events can have on your performance and if left unchecked the catastrophic outcomes that can result. He sincerely described how having to hide one’s sexuality is a significant source of sustained stress in one’s life providing a compelling reason why being inclusive is so essential to avoid this unnecessary situation. It also served as a reminder that each and everyone one of us faces stress and stressful situations everyday whether it be about being LGBT, a difficult family situations, illness the list goes on and reminded me how embracing diversity and being supportive of each other is beneficial to our overall well-being.”