Publish Date: 18/04/2013
Here we meet Caroline Yorston, Policy & Research Assistant at The LGF
How did you get started at The LGF?
After a period of unemployment and then underemployment when I finished university, I got the job at The LGF in April 2011. The role itself appealed to me as I’m from a research background and being a feminist and advocate of equality I had a strong sympathy for The LGF’s cause of ‘Ending Homophobia, Empowering People’. Turned out I already knew someone who worked here but neither of us made the connection until he heard that the new girl had a PhD in Marilyn Monroe…not many of us around I guess!
Describe your role in one sentence
My role involves researching, surveying and crunching data to create reports that highlight key issues affecting LGB people which The LGF then use to lobby for LGB equality.
What does a usual day entail?
Answering lots of emails, desk-based research, tweeting about LGB history and our Evidence Exchange of LGB stats, writing reports and supervising some of my lovely volunteers who do various office-based tasks for me.
What is your proudest achievement?
Without doubt my proudest achievement is obtaining my history PhD in 2010. It was a huge sense of accomplishment after many years of writing and agonising. I love that I’m now Dr. Caroline!
What is the best part of your job?
One of the aspects of my job I enjoy the most is conducting research outside of the office at Pride events and other external places. I’m a very chatty person and I love meeting new people so this suits me. It’s definitely necessary for staff to get out of the office and see what life is like for LGB people in the UK today and to engage them in a meaningful way with what we do.
What is the hardest part of your job?
I’d probably the say the same as my last answer! It can be incredibly exhausting going to Pride events back to back, especially as I usually have to be on site early on a Saturday morning and have normally had very little sleep after Friday night!
What or who inspires you?
As I love history, I would have to say that what inspires me most are the stories of selfless and heroic things ordinary people have done in difficult situations or tough times. I always like to think about what I would’ve done in the same predicament. It’s great to reflect on what people have achieved as individuals and groups as it motivates you to want to make a difference today.
What keeps you awake at night?
Currently, my wedding in July this year is keeping me awake! I have so many plans, fears and things to do that I find it hard to switch off. I have been known to shoot awake in the middle of the night with an idea so I keep a note book and pen next to bed. I also found this really helpful when I was at University so it’s a top tip for anyone who has lots of planning to do.
The best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Choose companions with care, you become what they are.
Your top tip for a work/life balance?
Don’t be a slave to your work email – decide a cut-off time and stick to it!
Caroline is currently working on our history and heritage project, more information can be found at www.lgf.org.uk/history.