Rae tells us about cleaning toilets, arachnophobia, family pride, her love of chocolate, being a twin, trusting her gut and why braving a potentially devastating spinal operation was the best decision she ever made


What are you thinking about right now?

diona rae

Diona Rae

Chief risk officer, GPT

I have two days before my holiday and I’m struggling to get all my work done. Maybe if I spent less time thinking about it, I would get more done!

What’s your greatest fear?

I was going to answer that I had no real fears, and then I realised I have one morbid, irrational fear that I cannot seem to get over, no matter how I try to address it. Spiders… enough said.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Walking into a pole whilst trying to look good. It was painful.

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my kids always makes me happy. They are young teenagers now and although it can be challenging, I love that they are becoming independent and finding their own way. They are both great company and I am so proud of them.

What makes you unhappy?

I have had trouble answering this one. Not because I am always happy. I just can’t pinpoint something in particular that makes me unhappy. I guess that when I don’t get my own way, I am unhappy.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Before I had spinal surgery, I was told by so many people that it was highly risky and may not solve my pain problems. There was no one who thought it was a good idea, other than my surgeon. It has been the best decision I have ever made.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

When I was at university, I cleaned toilets at a high school. Teenage children are particularly filthy when it comes to toileting and it was a most unpleasant experience. I lasted two weeks before going back to waitressing. Less money than cleaning – however, much easier on the stomach.

What is your greatest achievement?

I always say “my kids” to this question. Even though this is a corny answer, I do believe being a parent has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. I continue to be amazed by my children, anxious about my parenting, and more often than not extremely proud.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

The old saying – “trust your gut”. If your insides are telling you that something is not right, then there is a really good chance you are correct. Off the back of that lesson, I have also learnt that speaking up, even when I am not sure I am correct, is always better than not, especially when I feel strongly about something.

Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to my twin sister. She is amazing and has achieved so much.

Tell us a secret

I am a closet chocoholic.