Cheryl speaks, writes, and creates on a wide range of topics that reflect her expertise in equity, diversity, inclusion, behavioural science, and organisational psychology. She has a PhD in organisational behaviour with a focus on barriers to career progression. She's a trained actor, budding comedian, and full time entertainer.
"A real go getter. Always has a backpack." I Preet Banerjee, CEO of MoneyGaps
How I got here
My story is simple.
I got dropped by my acting agent when I was 15 because my chemistry teacher wouldn't let me miss a test for an audition. The role went to Jennifer Lawrence. Then I went to university and switched my major four times, finishing with a BSc in brain and cognition sciences. I then moved from Niagara Falls to Leeds because when my cousin's friend came over to pick up some eggs she said it was a nice place to live. I googled 'top 10 paying jobs in 2020' and didn't think I had the focus for brain surgery, but thought 'organisational psychologist sounds fun.' After my MSc in organisational psychology, all my friends were getting jobs but all I wanted to do was tell jokes. So I did a PhD. After a few years of students laughing at my lectures, I moved to an industry role where I get to speak, write, and create about what I love - how to help people feel included, accepted, and empowered to be themselves. I'm thrilled you're here.
Hey! It's me!
In my mid 20s I realised that I'd spent my young life chasing achievement, not fulfilment. Once I had all the things I thought I was supposed to have - my degrees, my permanent steady job... my anxiety problem.. - I thought, is that all there is? There's power in numbers so as I started to share my feelings with other 20 somethings I realised I wasn't alone. There's an entire gang of us - from ages 22 to 58 - who feel we've spent too long not going after what we want. Using my background in behavioural science, I decided to dedicate my time speaking, writing, and creating on chasing fulfilment. This aligns with my doctorate and research work on inclusive cultures in organisations, and gives me hope that we can end the cycle of getting stuck pretending to be someone else.
It's taken a long time for me to get here (not to London...metaphorically) - a place where I can be open and honest about who I am and who I'm not. Growing up I never understood when people said "she's just asking for attention" like it was a bad thing. What's wrong with wanting attention? And what's wrong with giving it? After years of trying to make myself smaller to fit into the boxes we create for attention grabbing women, I decided enough was enough. I quit my job, said no to the stuff I hate, and became unapologetically myself. Join me, the water is terrifying.