Matt Lindley is a commercial airlines pilot and an ex RAF Royal Squadron Pilot. In 2000, he was selected to fly Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family and Government officials worldwide, serving on The Royal Squadron. He flew missions in the Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Matt’s childhood dream was to join the RAF but this was almost crushed by the ban on gay personnel joining the forces. Therefore, when Matt first joined he had to stay in the closet living in fear of being found out and fired. Fortunately things changed and Matt describes how the RAF adapted its culture from one of hostility towards gay personnel to acceptance and support. Matt was one of the first openly gay pilots in the RAF. Matt shares his experience to highlight the benefits of transformational inclusive leadership and positive cultural change to the wellbeing of employees and the productivity of an organisation. Matt addresses the harming ‘banter culture’ within a workplace and the impact this can have on an individuals mental health.