In My Docs gives a platform to the people who work in our offices and stores all over the world. They give us a glimpse of their life, passions, their role at DM’s, and how they wear their Docs. This is what the Dr. Martens lifestyle looks like.
My Name is Geoffrey Williams; I am west Londoner born and raised. I have done loads of different things throughout my career. Firstly, working in entertainment, then shifting to recruitment and then into the broader HR people space. I am an award–winning short filmmaker and have had a short story published.
Can you tell us about your role at Dr. Martens?
My role at Dr. Martens is as the Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. I am responsible for building the function and partnering with leadership to set direction. I have the exciting task of looking at policies, practices and how we educate everyone with the hope that it leads to an integration of these practices into business DNA.
I am working towards regardless of background, age, race, gender, sexuality, geographic location etc. we have equal outcomes for all that work within the company and that we understand our broadest customer segments through the diversity and inclusivity of our employees.
What does Dr. Martens mean to you?
Dr. Martens, in my opinion, represents strength, and it is a way to share your passion and commitment to be a force for change and good in the world. My community, who wear the brand are those who use their voice to change the world for the better.
You’re the co-founder of Rocking Ur Teens, can you tell us what it’s about and how it came to be?
Rocking Ur Teens is a social enterprise that introduces young people aged 13- 14 (girls and boys) to the world of work, but also to how they manage their mental well-being. It was born out of a conversation between me, Jenny Garrett and Sandy Parris the cofounders as we discussed careers advice in schools but also, the things we thought the next generation needed to be successful.
Some schools currently do not have the capacity or access to some of the speakers we do, so we bring everyone together to learn and inspire. We launched in 2014 and have reached over 200 schools across the UK.
What do you think is the most important factor or golden rule of a DE&I Strategy? One that every business should live by?
I believe that you need to devise your strategy holistically and around critical interventions on things, you can measure, change and manage education around internally. In my opinion, this leads to a collective shift and understanding of what you are working to achieve.
Mankind can be selfish, and we need to continually remind ourselves that our viewpoint isn’t the only one that matters and for things to change we all need to continue to learn and embrace change like we do technology.
I think global companies play a considerable part in representing the worlds we want to see and setting the standard for the evolution of the world in this space.
Did you always know where you wanted to go in your career or was there another job you thought you’d be doing?
No, my career has been a journey from about the age of 11. I wanted to be in the music business mainly as a performer. I attended the BRITs performing arts and technology school and did a business degree at Buckinghamshire University focused on the entertainment industry, so that was a huge driver and focus for me. Then when I turned 29, I decided that I wanted to do something different. I didn’t have clarity on what the difference would be, but I tried my hand at a few things and the world of DE&I emerged, and that was what has stuck for now. I see life as a constant shift and evolution, so I am sure I will do a lot more things that are a variation of what I am doing now.
What do you want to achieve over the course of your career? Biggest ambitions?
I want to do loads of things; I want Rocking Ur Teens to be a global movement of young people leading and changing our world for good. I want to write a book on my views of DE&I but also a collection of short stories. I want to get Dr. Martens into the space to be seen as best in class in regards to DE&I.
What do you stand for?
I would say I stand for fairness, community, and freedom.
What would your dream pair of Docs look like, if you could design them?
I am a simple shoe person so something comfortable to get on and off and super warm, colour wise, I am black or blue shoe wearer.
What’s the most rebellious thing you’ve ever done?
I was raised as a Rastafarian, and at the age of 13, I chopped my dreadlocks off. That was rebellious as it was a moment where I defined who I was outside of my parental structure.
Who’s your idol?
I do not idolise anyone. My family are super important and key inspiration. I have respected the talents of several musicians and creatives over the years. I am in awe of the strength of Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X and their continued fight and push for change within the world for Black people globally.
How long have you been wearing DM’s, and what were your first pair?
How have you found 2020?
Personally, 2020 has been a year of significant change and evolution, so many changes have happened some amazing and some sad, but I am happy with the direction things are going for me, the wider world is where I worry.
What advice would you give to young people trying to get where you are?
Learn from your failures/mistakes and do not be afraid to try new things. Work on your evolution in terms of thinking experiences and learning, leaving school/university doesn’t mean education has stopped. Travel, visit museums and read books. Help others around you, don’t be so centred on self that is a lonely journey.
Tell us about your proudest moment to date, personally and professionally…
My proudest moments were launching “Rocking Ur Teens” in 2014 and seeing that come to life and the things we are getting to do for the next generation. Marrying my husband in 2016 and having one of my short stories published and getting my short film “What Would You Do” onto amazon prime.
Read more about the amazing people who make Dr. Martens here.