One of the first-ever gay pilots in the Royal Air Force, Matt Lindley is an influential figure in the military. From a childhood dream to making history, Matt’s brave journey into a career that was not accepting of different sexualities has paved the way for change in the Forces and ensured LGBT+ representation is present. Using his experiences to support corporate clients in being more LGBT+ friendly, and individuals in becoming better allies, Matt is a transformational speaker.
A former RAF Royal Squadron Pilot, Matt enjoyed an extensive career with the Forces, responsible for transporting members of the royal family, including the Queen, around the world. However, Matt’s future was not always certain, as he dreamed of being a pilot at a young age but the RAF had a ban on gay personnel joining. Despite initial adversity, Matt experienced first-hand the change in culture from discrimination to acceptance, and through his career as one of the first openly gay pilots in the Forces, he instigated progressive policies. After spending seven years in the RAF, Matt transitioned to commercial airliners and currently works as a Commercial Airline Pilot.
Armed with his experiences, Matt has worked with several organisations to improve diversity and acceptance across a range of industries. From his position as Healthcare Human Factors Change Management Consultant to Head of Human Performance Factors for Verpora, Matt has shared implementable strategies to improve leadership, performance and human error. Currently, he is the founder & CEO of Propel Performances through which he gives workshops and training to corporate clients.
As a speaker, Matt combines LGBT+ education with advice on inclusive policies for the audiences he works with. To date, he has spoken for clients including The New York Times, The Home Office and The Environment and has presented a TEDx talk on ‘Fear: Fight or Flight’.
Matt Lindley is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“A very informative presentation – it was highly enjoyable learning about experiences from other industries and how lessons learnt elsewhere can be applied in the legal workplace”
“I cannot recommend Matt highly enough. He talked to the Close Brothers community about his journey and it resonated incredibly well with all colleagues, not just those from the LQBQT community. His candour and honesty really connected with people, and the ties with wider mental wellness and resilience were incredibly topical given the current pandemic. His humour shone through and it was one of the best received external speakers we have had to date. A thorough recommendation…”
“I was fortunate enough to listen to Matt speak at a recent LGBT diversity and inclusion event. Matt shared his own journey as a gay man growing up and achieving his dream to be a pilot which took him the macho world of the RAF and how throughout this time he kept his sexuality bottled. He was able to thread into this the impact that sustained stress and stressful events can have on your performance and if left unchecked the catastrophic outcomes that can result. He sincerely described how having to hide one’s sexuality is a significant source of sustained stress in one’s life providing a compelling reason why being inclusive is so essential to avoid this unnecessary situation. It also served as a reminder that each and everyone one of us faces stress and stressful situations everyday whether it be about being LGBT, a difficult family situations, illness the list goes on and reminded me how embracing diversity and being supportive of each other is beneficial to our overall well-being.”