Kirsten is a diversity, equality and inclusion specialist, neuro-linguistic programming certified coach and NLP master practitioner. She has trained organisations on a range of business issues since 1982, facilitating training, undertaking audits, and coaching individuals. She has been active in the voluntary sector for more than 40 years and brings her lived experience and decades of training expertise to the classroom.
She says: “As a blind person and a lesbian, I have chosen to work in the field of challenging discrimination because of my own experience of exclusion and my belief that if we promote equality and diversity for discriminated against groups, we improve services for everyone.”
Kirsten spent 16 years in local government, including five years at Chief Officer level, leading teams on a wide range of equality implementation. She was also the Head of the Disability Unit, Deputy Head of the Social Justice Unit (dealing with race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, and economic status), at LB Waltham Forest, the Principal Policy Officer for Haringey Lesbian and Gay Unit, and a community outreach worker for the GLC disability resource team.
Outside her training, consultancy, and coaching practice she has served on a number of boards including the Office for Disability Issues Disability Delivery board, the Disability Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the Arts Council England Independent Disability Equality Advisory Group. She was also the chair of Inclusion London, the London-wide Deaf and Disabled People’s organisations for 6 years, and a trustee of the consortium of LGBT Community and Voluntary organisations for 10 years.
For eight years, Kirsten was a member of the Transport for London Board where she championed social inclusion. She was also previously a member of Equality 2025, the UK Advisory Network on Disability Equality, providing disability equality advice at the heart of government.
She was also an Independent member of the Metropolitan Police Authority for 12 years, chairing it’s DV, Equality and hate crime committees and it’s Olympic Scrutiny board.
Kirsten was a Haringey Councillor for 8 years from 2014, chairing the children’s and young peoples scrutiny panel for her first four years in office, and a cabinet member in the Ejiofor administration from 2018 to 2021, where she held at various points the portfolios for Climate Change Action parks, Open spaces and bio diversity, Planning, Equalities, Leisure and more.
She is currently a member of The Parole Board for England and Wales.