Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Paul Johnston

Diversity and Inclusion Specialist: Heathrow Airport

Paul graduated in 2016 with a BSc in Geography, and now helps the efforts to make Britain's busiest airport, Heathrow, even more diverse and inclusive.

Why did you choose to study Geography at Loughborough University?

I was inspired to apply to Loughborough University partly due to its status as a leading campus university.

I believed I would get a high quality education in Geography, but more importantly it would provide me with a broad set of opportunities which would develop and round me as a person.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

I honestly owe so much to the university - my course taught me how to view things from different perspectives, the ability to question, analyse, and effectively communicate.

More importantly, my overall university experience helped me to learn about myself, my strengths and to appreciate others individuality. I learnt to help others, for example through my involvement in the Students Union (especially their media section), while opportunities with the university taught me to storytell and inspire others.

At the end of my time at Loughborough I was humbled to win a Loughborough Experience Award.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

I honestly believe they were key to my university experience, starting by joining the hiking society.

However, I would become know for my heavy involvement in Loughborough Students Union's Media section. I developed a love for photography; I would cover everything from nights out, events, to photoshoots. It was the challenge of capturing a moment I found rewarding.

I also lead the student radio station and assisted the TV station, with edia gaving me a unique insight into the events going on at university from covering international sports events to the Students Union’s executive elections.

I acted as an ambassador for the university helping inspire others. I ended up with an amazing opportunity to blog for the university, an experience which became significant for me. I learnt to embrace myself through the blog as I shared my experiences and challenges.

Without that experience I honestly don't think I would be leading diversity and inclusion today at Heathrow.


Can you tell us more about working for Heathrow Airport as a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist?

My role has a number of different strands:

  • Act as an internal ambassador and subject matter expert for diversity & inclusion at Heathrow
  • Create an integrated diversity and inclusion strategy, raising the profile of D&I across the business
  • Manage the delivery of Heathrow’s D&I networks
  • Act as a point of contact for Heathrow’s diversity partnerships
  • Advise and guide the People Business Partners with the implementation of functional plan
  • Establish robust data reporting on diversity at Heathrow
  • Act as a point of contact for Heathrow’s diversity partnerships
  • Support recruitment, onboarding and programme management for the Career Returners Programme
  • Provide support across Heathrow’s suite of emerging talent programmes

Can you tell us more about Heathrow Airport, where you currently work?

Heathrow is Europe’s largest airport and one of the world’s top international aviation hubs. As the UK’s global gateway, Heathrow welcomes more than 78 million passengers every year.

Following an investment of more than £11 billion over the last 10 years, Heathrow is currently ranked by passengers as the 'Best Airport in Western Europe’. Approximately 7,000 people are directly employed by Heathrow, and a further 76,000 people work on site.

What do you love the most about your job?

I am currently helping lead Heathrow’s efforts to become even more diverse and inclusive.

I find it rewarding working with such a community and hopefully helping make a difference to the 76,000 people based on the site, and the millions which pass through every month. It is also an exciting time to be working at Heathrow given the future plans for the airport.‌‌‌

+44(0)1509 228497

Hazlerigg Building
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU  UK