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Matt Lindley

Matt Lindley

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Listening to an airline and former RAF Royal Squadron pilot describe their experiences of a career amongst the clouds would be impressive enough, but when you couple it with the adversity, determination and resilience that Matt Lindley has displayed over the years, it becomes something even more special. One of the first-ever openly gay pilots in the UK armed forces, he now works as one of the most inspirational diversity keynote speakers on the circuit.

Incredibly charismatic, Matt talks candidly about his experiences at every speaking event he attends, frequently displaying the same level of motivation and resolve that took him to the top of one of the most demanding careers on the planet.

From an early age, Matt knew that all he wanted to do was fly planes, but, even in his youth, he was aware that his sexuality could be the thing that holds him back. In fact, during the time Matt was training, there was a ban on gay personnel in the forces, and he chose to hide his sexuality in order to achieve his dream. It was a dangerous move. At the time the Armed Forces Act meant that anyone who was ‘out’ while serving could even face a prison sentence. When booked as an after-dinner speaker, Matt can discuss what it was like having to suppress who he really was, the non-inclusive culture he experienced in the RAF and the huge strides the organisation has now made to ensure it accommodates and welcomes personnel of all persuasions.

Matt reached the top of the military during his career, and as well as completing death-defying missions in hostile locations such as Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, he was even granted the privilege of flying the royal family and government officials to events all over the world.

What makes Matt one of the greatest diversity keynote speakers around isn’t just his ability to grasp the attention of an audience, it’s how he draws on his knowledge of human performance factors and psychology to self analyse the impact of mental health and stress on his performance at work and wellbeing – lessons that can be adapted and taken on board by people in all environments.

So much more than just another ‘coming out’ story, contact Evolve today to discover how Matt Lindley’s experiences can enhance your next occasion.

Topics and Themes

  • Aviation
  • Motivational
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Military

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