Ayla served as a military helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force, for 13 years and for 7 of those was an extremely proud and commended member of the RAF Search and Rescue team.
Ayla now flies helicopters for the National Police Air Service. Utilising her professional experiences of close-knit teams in challenging environments and her deeply personal experience of coming out as transgender in 2010, Ayla works alongside many others to see the integrity and empowerment inherent to inclusive cultures is experienced by individuals, allies and organisations alike. She is a committed supporter of LGBT charity Stonewall and sits on their Trans Advisory Group. She is also an advisor for All About Trans, a charity who primarily work with UK media on developing their representation of trans people.
She has been listed on the UK’s Rainbow List twice by the Independent on Sunday, received one of Attitude Magazine’s inaugural Pride Awards and has a shiny British LGBT Award for Inspirational Role Model. Ayla is also a patron for the charity Mermaids.
She lives in the Dorset countryside with her wife, Wren (an ITU doctor) and daughter River who joined them in 2020, plus their numerous cats and chickens.
"I cast Ayla for a Heineken, branded content documentary film called “Open Your World”. The piece went viral (organically) and amassed 20 million views across YouTube and Facebook. Ayla’s contribution had a huge part to play in it’s success. In short - I would jump at the chance to work with her again!"
RSA Films Limited
"Ayla’s inspirational story received fantastic feedback from our employees. Her talk sparked a discussion throughout the firm about what else we could be doing to develop a more trans inclusive environment."
Slaughter and May
"Ayla has shared her amazing stories with BlackRock’s clients, employees and leadership team and had a meaningful impact on everyone she has engaged with at BlackRock. As Co-Chair of the LGBT Employee network at BlackRock I would like to thank Ayla for her candour, humour and our partnership. It is always a pleasure working with you Ayla – thank you."
"Ayla provided the keynote speech for the National Grid Inclusion and Diversity conference 'Proud to Enable Diversity'. The session was engaging, authentic and had a very positive impact on the audience of employees. I would highly recommend Ayla for engagements such as this."
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