Pride is the opportunity to celebrate the great accomplishments made in LGBT + equality and a reminder that the work is not completed.
Being able to be myself at work has enabled me to direct all of my energy to my work, not using it to shield who I am.
I don’t see one single element driving the D&I agenda in the future, as now I believe we need to have a balanced view across all aspects of diversity. The idea that if we ‘get it right’ for one group we will magically solve inclusion issues across the board is a misinformed notion.
It’s a celebration of individuality, diversity and self; but it’s also a collective celebration of how far we have all come on LGBT issues in a relatively short space of time.
Wasting energy on disguising key aspects of self would be exhausting; being open means my focus is where it needs to be. In a people business, honesty is an important factor in building strong working relationships with clients and colleagues, so bringing my “whole self” makes this much easier.
I would like to see a less fragmented approach to D&I. Although there are clearly nuances between different D&I strands, the fundamental issues are the same regardless of whether you’re looking at gender, LGBT, race or ethnicity – everyone having the right to be themselves and everyone having an equal chance to succeed in the workplace.
Pride is firstly a day of celebration of how far we have come, the obstacles that have been overcome, remembering those that unfortunately were not able to celebrate in such a fashion and also not forgetting that there is still much to do across the whole LGBTQ+ community. I shall happily be marching with the LGBTQ+ & Allies Group here at ASOS celebrating our partnership with GLAAD.
It’s totally life changing, in no short measure aided by the very open environment here at ASOS. I’ve never once said partner instead of husband since I joined, and basically means I can just get on with the job, ‘bringing your best self to work’ is embedded in the culture here.
We are really challenging ourselves and in the process benchmarking our practice so that we continuously improve. We are looking at how LGBTQ+ intersects with other priority areas such as gender equality, disability and ethnicity. I’d like to see the investment community taking even greater interest across all equality issues helping keep this front of mind in the Boardroom.
For me, Pride means taking time to celebrate how far we’ve come, to express gratitude to those we’ve lost along the way, and to remember that there’s still a long way to go in many areas.
It takes a lot of energy to pretend you’re someone you’re not. Even things like avoiding using pronouns to describe one’s partner is quite taxing (if you’ve never had to, try it at a party and see just how challenging it is). Bringing my whole self to work means I have more energy to devote to the job at hand.
I think in law we’ve made tremendous strides on D&I, but there is still lots to be done. We are a long way from 50% of law firm partners, QCs and senior judges being women. BAME people remain under-represented in senior ranks. It’s great that it’s underway, but I think our trans journey has just begun (and there is much work to be done as well for the B, I, Q and other parts of the abbreviation). I’d also like to see us looking more closely at disability, and social background. The law should be a field where the best people thrive – regardless of who they are or where they’ve come from.
Pride means bringing your best self to your workplace as a valued and supported member of the team!
I have been out since university and, despite the challenges that have come with this, it has allowed me to be authentic and to unlock my full potential in the workplace in capital markets and in my D&I work across the legal sector and beyond.
I think the next frontier for diversity and inclusion is a focus on (a) culture, to level the playing field for all talent regardless of difference; (b) intersectionality, to understand that we are all complex and unique and that difference should be valued; and (c) the business case, relying on data-driven findings that inclusive workplaces are more profitable.