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Women in Ethics & Compliance Global
November 11, 2021
Lucy Game

From Fashion to Counter-Terrorism, Ethics as a Multifaceted Concept

International Relations
Blow that Whistle!

My professional experience in ethics and compliance began with various intern placements, one within external buying at Kurt Geiger and one in Asset and Profit Protection at Burberry. This work introduced me to the legal and ethical side of the fashion industry, particularly counterfeiting, illicit financing, internal ethics, compliance investigations, and ethical sourcing. Before this, I was not aware - maybe I’d even go as far to say naive - of the vast behind-the-scenes legal and policy work that goes into major brands. At the same time as these internships, I was studying for my A-Level qualifications, which I undertook in Psychology, Sociology, and Politics. At the time of choosing these subjects, they were just those I thought seemed interesting, but after a few months of study, I realised they were the perfect fit for my interests and my strengths.

Originally, I had aimed to study a Criminology degree but transferred programs to International Relations before the commencement of my studies. I believe what shifted my interest was a teacher I had for my A-Level Politics course. A tall, sharp, and assertive woman from South Africa with the richest life experience I had ever encountered and a strong take-no-prisoners attitude. From growing up in Apartheid Johannesburg, to reporting on the Rwandan Genocide as a Journalist before the age of 20, to travelling the world working in over 5 different countries and speaking as many - if not more - languages. I was amazed by her wisdom, borne as a product of her life experience, and always thought I would feel very accomplished if I had even achieved half of what she had in my own lifetime.

I had grown up around and been raised by a plethora of strong and inspirational women; I am a child of a single mother who has a history in defense and weapons policy. I grew up watching in awe of how my mother balanced a career, raising two young children, and at one point being the primary caregiver for my terminally ill father. I have always felt there was an underappreciated magic about women, the drive and resilience held by many before and many to come to mark their place in this world and leave a positive impact on others in the process. Women have an incredible power to develop the world into a kinder, more moral, and more ethical place, and I believe this is what motivates me in my work.

The work of counterterrorism, and international relations as a more general field, is innately tied to ethical practice. When I decided to go down the path of international relations and counterterrorism, I felt this was where I would be able to have the most significant impact on the lives of others around me. This area has allowed me to hone my skills and interests in the areas of geopolitics and global security that are most important to me. These include, advocating for legal provisions protecting the rights of minorities, considering a racialised and gendered perspective in all intelligence analysis, and working to promote ethical norms for the management of displaced persons and asylum seekers. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been born in an economically and politically stable country, allowing me to receive a strong education and therefore feel there is a moral imperative to use this to help improve the lives of those less fortunate wherever possible.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Worry less - stop being anxious about what you may or may not achieve and focus that energy into things that bring you joy. Find balance in your life and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

If you had to choose an alternative career, what would you be doing now?

Maybe something in fashion. I like how freeing fashion and makeup can be; it can be used as an expression of whatever you would like it to be, and send messages far and wide. Fashion knows no language and no boundaries.

At the end of your career, if you were to sit and reflect, what one hope do you have?

I hope that I consider whatever I have accomplished a success. Success will be relative to me at that point in time, but for now, success means happiness, well-roundedness, balance, and internal peace. I hope I can feel that I have fulfilled my purpose and made the world, even just marginally, a better place.