Celebrating Pride 2023
01 Jun 2023 - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
You might see the rainbow flags decorating shop fronts, corporate logos and the sides of buses throughout June. But behind the rainbow flag there is a lot more to the celebration, including fundraising and community events to celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals, and activities to increase awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and history.
It's a month where LGBTQ+ individuals can celebrate being proud of who they are, in contrast to a deep history of hiding and masking these identities, and it’s also a time allies and friends can show their support!
Our focus on Equity
This year we’ve integrated ‘equity’ into our diversity and inclusion programme. Pride month is a great opportunity to think about what equity means for LGBTQ+ people at work and reflect on the actions we can all take to create a more equitable workplace for our colleagues, regardless of their gender or sexuality.
Equity is about giving people what they need and ensuring fair treatment. Ultimately, it’s making sure someone’s identity doesn’t impact on personal success. For LGBTQ+ people this can mean a lot of things, but most of all it means creating environments of inclusion and acceptance.
Having a dialogue and sharing experiences is a powerful way to help people understand how to support and build that environment. Once an environment of inclusion, acceptance and belonging is in place, then people can devote their full selves to the tasks at hand without needing to spend energy and thought hiding themselves, or worrying about how they may be judged. This energy can then be better used to help us produce our best work and maintain our own wellbeing outside the workplace.
Our progress this year
Here are some of the key actions taken by us in the LGBTQ+ space this year and some of the outcomes:
- Stonewall Partnership and Workplace Equality Index: Last year, we started our partnership with Stonewall, giving us access to various resources to help create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. As part of this partnership, we took part in the Workplace Equality Index to give us the opportunity to benchmark our progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. The index helped us identify a number of areas we need to do better in, and we already have lots of ideas for how we can make better progress.
- Policy changes: We’ve reviewed a number of our workplace policies to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive (for example our family and harassment policies). In particular, a focus on the language used where this can be ambiguous. Using inclusive language allows LGBTQ+ to feel recognised and avoids excluding specific groups of people.
- Training and seminars: Our colleagues attended a seminar earlier in the year looking at the intersections between the BAME and LGBTQ+ communities, sharing their valuable insights with our wider firm.
- Recruitment: We’re now using Stonewall’s job board, allowing us to highlight our vacancies to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Increased awareness of LGBTQ+ issues: Our LGBTQ+ network group shared their personal experiences with over 100 colleagues via a Diversity Dialogue webinar last June. Our colleague Brenda Kite also shared her transition journey with the Society of Pension Professionals. The group also helped educate our colleagues on LGBTQ+ issues in wider society, including during the Qatar World Cup, LGBTQ+ History Month and World Aids Day.
- Declaration rates and statistics: Declaration rates of sexual orientation have increased over the past few years too. In May 2020 73% of our employees had shared their sexual orientation with the firm, but by May 2023 88% of employees have shared this information.
- Email signature pro-nouns: We’ve seen more people adding their pro-nouns to email signatures.
Coming up this month
Our LGBTQ+ network group has planned lots of activity for this year’s Pride month. We’ll shine the spotlight on a different topic each week, exploring Bi-visibility, Allyship and Trans-visibility.
To finish off the month we’ll be hosting our annual rainbow bake sale with all proceeds going to an LGBTQ+ charity. If last year’s bakes are anything to go by, we’re all in for a treat!