A focus on… LGBTQ+ inclusion
“I used to waste so much mental energy wearing a mask to stop people seeing the real me. Now that I feel comfortable taking that mask off, I can focus all of that energy on more productive uses. And that’s great for everyone involved.”
Sam Meir | Manager, Private Client Tax
Tell us about yourself
I’m Sam and I’m a Manager in PKF’s Private Client Tax team. I support individuals with their tax returns, tax planning and general tax-related problem solving. My clients tend to be high net worth individuals or people with complex tax arrangements.
Outside of work, my main hobby is gaming. I used to play semi-professionally in various leagues and even represented England; I still have a reasonably high ranking but play mostly for fun these days. I also enjoy getting involved in all sorts of social activities with my friends, such as playing sports and going to the theatre.
What makes it more than just a job to you?
I enjoy supporting people as part of my role. I have the chance to help clients who grow to trust you to give them a hand with all sorts of personal finance issues, not just tax matters. And I enjoy supporting my more junior colleagues to develop and grow professionally and personally.
How does PKF encourage its people to be themselves?
I identify as non-binary. I had wanted to be open about it for a while and was building up to it when I joined PKF. I noticed as soon as I’d joined that the firm prominently displayed its Values around the office – on screen savers, on the walls and even on our mugs. One day, early on in my time here, I picked up a mug that had one of the Values on it – we value authenticity – and decided to put this claim to the test by telling my line manager about my gender identity. She was incredibly supportive and together we agreed that I should tell the broader team. They were equally accepting when I came out to them and made me feel like I’d made the right decision by being authentic.
Sharing my story inside the firm was a big deal for me – but my colleagues were immediately supportive and made it a painless experience. PKF is probably the place where I feel safest and can be my whole self without worrying about the reaction.
How did you support PKF in celebrating Pride in 2022?
I was thrilled to help deliver a session about gender pronouns and LGBTQ+ terminology. I’m terrified of public speaking – and I was also slightly apprehensive about coming out in front of hundreds of people, despite my earlier positive experiences with my colleagues in my team – so this wasn’t something that I was particularly looking forward to doing! However, the feedback that I received from my colleagues from across the firm afterwards made it all worthwhile.
What separates PKF from other firms?
PKF places a lot of emphasis on helping you become the best person you can be both in and out of the office, rather than just the most technically proficient accountant or tax adviser. The firm devotes a lot of resources – both time and money – to help us all do that. That’s unusual and it has a significant impact, because it creates an open, rewarding and welcoming working environment where everyone has the chance to fulfil their potential in life.
30 seconds with Sam Meir
Q. What one thing would you miss most if you were shipwrecked on a desert island?
A. The internet.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure?
A. Ice cream, even on a cold winter’s day!
Q. What is your hidden talent?
A. I have a deadpan poker face.