In celebration of National Inclusion Week, we are shining a spotlight on the remarkable journey of Georgina, one of our Level 4 Data Protection and Information Governance apprentices, and her pivotal role as an Information Governance Specialist at 8foldGovernance. National Inclusion Week serves as a vital platform for raising awareness and celebrating inclusivity within the workplace. It encourages both employers and employees to reflect on their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Georgina’s unique journey, marked by her diverse background within the NHS, has allowed her to offer unparalleled support and guidance to both public and private sector organisations in navigating the intricacies of data protection regulations.
Georgina Daugherty, Information Governance Specialist at 8fold Governance
As part of National Inclusion Week, Georgina has had the opportunity to reflect on her personal and professional growth. Her journey, marked by the unwavering support of friends, family, and mentors, stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities that await when one embarks on the path of self-belief.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Georgina’s personal journey as a profoundly deaf individual with a cochlear implant adds depth and nuance to her story. Her experiences remind us all of the positive impact we can create by taking the time to learn about and embrace the diverse experiences of others, during National Inclusion Week and beyond.
Since joining 8foldGovernance in May 2023, I have established a strong reputation for helping my clients attain their Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) goals. In addition to successfully guiding numerous clients in meeting the requirements for the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC). Our clients vary from technology start-ups to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), or they are members of the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) to improve the provision of direct care and health technology in the UK. My experience assisting both private and public sector organisations in meeting data protection regulations and adopting best practices has been combined with my background in the NHS in various roles since 2012 to provide unmatched compliance support and assistance.
8foldGovernance has been very encouraging of my career goals and supportive of my needs. The team ensures that I have the tools needed to succeed, and being deaf is not a hindrance to my role. In fact, in some ways, it is a superpower as my honed listening skills and considerate nature help facilitate building good relationships with my colleagues and clients. 8foldGovernance is a great place to work, and they are committed to building an inclusive organisation to support the development of their employees and clients.
Throughout my career, I have worked in various industries where data security and protection were, to some degree, pivotal to my roles. Through a serendipitous meeting, I found out that you could have a fulfilling career specialising in data protection and information governance. Then, when the opportunity arose to join the first cohort of the data protection and information governance apprenticeship, I seized it. I saw the apprenticeship as a way to develop the knowledge and skills needed to help shape my career going forward. I am also passionate about human rights, so I am thrilled to play a small part in supporting work undertaken to uphold the human right to privacy.
Through the apprenticeship, I have been exposed to a multitude of different opportunities, which have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. The most impactful opportunity was that I was able to attend the Information Records Management Society (IRMS) Conference in May 2023 on a bursary. Without the professional development workshop provided by the apprenticeship, I would not have heard about this opportunity. The conference was also inclusive, as the team went above and beyond to ensure that I was able to make the most of the conference from an accessibility viewpoint and as a new professional to the industry. They put measures in place to ensure I was able to hear all the talks and learn from the inspiring professionals in attendance.
I would like to develop best practices for ensuring that training and awareness programmes are accessible to all, as data protection and information governance are everyone’s responsibilities. Ensuring training and awareness programmes are fully inclusive will help organisations uphold their compliance requirements. I am passionate about this, as I know how frustrating it can be when you’re on a training course and the provider hasn’t taken the time to understand your accessibility needs. Additionally, I would like to develop a portfolio of public speaking engagements to develop my public speaking skills and share my experiences in the industry. Overall, I would like to continue to develop my experience in the industry to achieve a position of seniority within an organisation and become respected in the industry.
I am aware that there are many limitations to disabled people achieving employment, and I have been very lucky throughout my career (both professional and educational) to have had the support of friends, family, and mentors. With the support of these individuals, I was given the confidence to seize any opportunities that came my way and not let my deafness stop me. If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you are capable. Thus, my advice would be to believe in yourself, go for the opportunities, and apply for the apprenticeship or that job. In addition, find your people—the individuals who are willing to take the time to support you and believe in you. I am very grateful for the experiences I’ve had throughout my life and for the support 8foldGovernance and the Specialist Hub has provided me in my career development.