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Diversity & Inclusion with Marianna Dooley

Marianna, part of our Marketing team as a Returner, shares her thoughts and experience on diversity and inclusion.

What does inclusion for mean to you?

Inclusion starts with the individual and to me, it means accepting those around you as they are, without judgement or prejudice, even if they look, act, think, or feel different to you.  This also applies in any group setting, standing up for inclusion, where you feel it is needed.

What challenges did you experience, if any, in your career and how did you overcome them?

Returning to work after a thirteen-year career break, one of the biggest barriers was facing my own fears.  There is an understandable confidence gap and a knowledge gap. So, the first challenge is making the decision to return and put a plan in place to achieve this.  However, once you have done all the upskilling, confidence building and networking, you can be met with an unwillingness for some employers to look beyond the career break.  Returnships offer an amazing opportunity to overcome this challenge and get a recent experience back on your CV.

What could others learn from your journey?

It is never too late, or too long a break, to return to what you identify with. It is normal to have fears and imposter syndrome, some people have this after a two-week holiday returning to work!  We all have that inner critic that we need to manage, if fear is an issue for you, my advice is to challenge it, fact-check what it says, and reason with it.  You might find it steps out of your way.  All fear can be overcome if we work with it and not against it.

"Inclusion means... Unconditional acceptance free from judgement."

How is Deloitte helping you build your career?

Deloitte offering me the returnship has given me the opportunity to reset my career, increase my network and upskill in new areas. It has given me the space to regain my work confidence and prove to myself that skills don’t disappear, they just need to be flexed like muscles.  Key drivers for returning to work after a thirteen-year break for me were, a sense of purpose and achievement beyond my family commitments and connection with the working world, the returnship in Deloitte has given me that, for which I am extremely grateful.

Do you have any mentors and if so, what is their value to you?

I have a few mentors I can regularly talk to, and value greatly. They are sounding boards, patient listeners, and wise advisers. I think everyone should have a mentor in different life and career stages, who bring opportunities and also new challenges.  Mentors that are experienced in the new circumstance life throws at us, mean we cut some of the learning curves, and help transition through changes in a more supported way.  Most mentors are delighted to be asked for their advice and guidance.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined Deloitte?

That the length of a career break is irrelevant, 1 yr or 13yrs, the confidence gap is the same, but within a few weeks of introductions and working, it is suddenly not even relevant anymore, what is of interest is where you are currently working and the projects you are on, and the relationships you are building.

What’s one piece of advice you would give a new parent/caregiver trying to juggle their new life and career? 

Be patient with yourself, and those around you. There is no perfection in parenting, and it isn’t possible to do it all, you must prioritise, and then re-prioritise as circumstances demand. Flexibility is key.

What do you see as the role of an ally, and what do you value most?

The role of an ally is to be someone you can sense check things with, and check in with regularly, they support you in your work and have your back... What I value most in an ally is direct and transparent feedback.

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