Diversity at TwinsUK: Paz García

Paz is Programme Manager, working broadly across operations to ensure studies are set up and delivered successfully. Paz also oversees communications and manages the Engagement Team and the Administration Team, ensuring that our twin participants are well looked after when taking part in research and kept up-to-date with everything at TwinsUK.

What kind of culture did you grow up with? 

My family is from Chile, so while we moved to the UK permanently in 1999, I still grew up in a fairly typical Latino household. This means lots of noise and a big emphasis on family – everyone has opinions on everything, but it also means that you can rely on your family to support you when you need it and celebrate the good things with you too. The Chilean/Latino culture I grew up with is more conservative than that generally in the UK, but living in the UK meant my family over time became much more progressive.  

What are your favourite customs? 

I quite like the naming customs in Chilean culture. Everyone receives two surnames; one from your father and one from your mother. When you get married, no one changes their surnames, and any children will go on to take their father’s first surname and their mother’s first surname. This way, you can easily trace back how people are related. 

I also like the custom of passing down first names in families. This is particularly common through the male line; for example, my grandfather, father, brother and nephew all have the same name. Because everyone will have different nicknames however, it’s usually obvious who you are talking to/about, if it’s not already obvious from context! 

Can you share with us what diversity and inclusion mean to you? 

Diversity and inclusion is about actively seeking out and involving people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives in the work that you do. This is important not just because it is morally the right thing to do, but because it also leads to better outcomes that better reflect the world today. A very clear example of the importance of diversity and inclusion in my work is through the ethics committee I sit on for King’s – there have been many times where ethical issues have been picked up by committee members due to their specific background or experiences, which otherwise would not have been identified or addressed. This ensures that research taking place at King’s is of a higher quality and ethical standard. 

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