Mini-Yorkshire puds with PM among Nikki Hosty's memories.


Nikki Hosty is our new Freedom to Speak up Guardian and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager. She wanted to be fireman when she was growing up but, then, was too short and she's been to No 10.

Read more from her in our latest Hello My Name Is....

Summarise your career background

I left school at 16 and went straight into an apprenticeship for British Rail in 1990. The apprenticeship was fab because I got a chance to work in a few different departments.

After working in finance, selling tickets, doing the rosters I then found I loved working with people and I was drawn to HR and I got my HR degree at 24.

After a few years the railway was privatised and I worked for a company called Jarvis on private finance initiative contacts.

I was then drawn back to the railway so I joined Northern Rail as Head of HR Support Services, where I was accountable for colleague services, recruitment, occupational health and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).

I then realised my passion was D&I and I had an opportunity to work for Yorkshire Building Society developing a brand new D&I strategy.

I then saw the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role here and can’t wait to make a difference by hearing and acting on views from staff regarding what we can all do to create an open and inclusive place to work.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

I was invited to 10 Downing Street early 2016 and I met David Cameron we were invited for the work we had done making transport more attractive to a diverse audience. It looks exactly like the bit where Hugh Grant dances on the staircase in Love Actually. (a film set)

We ate mini Yorkshire puddings with horseradish beef and mini sausages wrapped in bacon - yum.

Sum up your role in three words

Connections. Trust. Action

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Growing up I wanted to be a Firewoman but I’m only 5 foot, and in 1989, when I was looking into becoming a firewoman, there were height restrictions so my dreams were dashed!

Who is your hero/heroine and why?

I think everyone can be a hero or heroine in their own way - I just find I love hearing personal stories where a person has done amazing things.

I had the privilege to meet two women in the last six months that I have learned a lot from. I firstly met Paralympian Karen Darke who had an accident while climbing a mountain. The accident left her paralysed from the chest down but she built her upper body strength and realised she was very fast in a wheelchair. She is a gold medal holder and now goes on lots of different adventures around the world.

I also met Natalia Cohen who participated in an all-female team rowing the Pacific Ocean and I’d thoroughly recommend her documentary which is available on Netflix called “Losing sight of the Shore”. It is a lesson in camaraderie, the diversity of a team, tenacity and strength of the human spirit.

When you are not at work, how do you relax?

I play netball and coach netball 4 or 5 times a week - this really helps me relax and reset.

What is your favourite place?

My favourite place is generally being outdoors, camping in our campervan, walking, relaxing on a beach, eating and drinking al fresco, fresh air and sunshine is a great stress buster and re energiser.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I love rugby league and I am a Castleford Tigers season ticket holder!

A huge thing for me is my involvement in #teamevan. The group photo shows me in my teamevan t-shirt doing some fundraising. #teamevan was set up in memory of my godson who was 14 years of age when he passed away after a freak tackle during a rugby match in 2017.

He was a lovely lad always looking out for other kids. His mum set up the community organisation in memory of his legacy and they have done lots of things like walking 185 miles between Leeds - London, bike rides and now we are about to do The Three Peaks challenge in Yorkshire.

Twitter or Facebook?

I’m a Twitter fan and my handle is @hostyn3

read more about her role here:

 Freedom to Speak Up Guardian