Pride Month – what does it mean to you?

Pride is an important event for the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, while remembering those who have fought for LGBTQ+ equality.

However, there is still much work to be done. LGBTQ+ people continue to face discrimination in many areas of life, including employment, housing, and healthcare.

Pride Month helps raise awareness of the challenges that still face the LGBTQ+ community. There are many people who do not understand or accept LGBTQ+ people, so it’s important to educate others about the LGBTQ+ community and to challenge prejudice and discrimination.

Pride is a powerful force for change. By supporting the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month, we can all help to create a more inclusive and just society for all.

Here are some ways that businesses can help to create a more inclusive and accepting world:

  • Create a culture of respect and belonging. This means fostering an environment where everyone feels safe and valued, regardless of their identity. This can be done by:
    • Encouraging employees to share their experiences
    • Creating a space where employees feel comfortable speaking up about discrimination or harassment
    • Providing training and awareness about diversity and inclusion, and the challenges faced by specific groups
    • Standing up against discrimination and prejudice when we see it
  • Be mindful of your language. Avoid using language that is discriminatory or offensive. This includes avoiding stereotypes
  • Take positive action in hiring and promotion processes. This means removing discrimination of people from different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities
  • Celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This can be done by hosting events, recognising employees for their contributions, and creating a culture of respect and understanding
  • Clarify internal policies: Businesses can implement policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment, particularly when based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. These policies should be clear and easy to understand, and they should be enforced consistently
  • Be an ally to LGBTQ+ friends, family, and co-workers. An ally is someone who supports the LGBTQ+ community. We can be allies by listening to LGBTQ+ people, respecting their pronouns and identities, and standing up for them when they are being discriminated against

By taking these steps, you can help to create a workplace where everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued.

For me, Pride is about celebrating the diversity of our community and the progress we have made in the fight for equality. It’s a time to come together and show our support for those who are still fighting for their rights.

But this needs to go beyond Pride Month – everyday, we need to be creating a world where everyone can be proud of who they are. We all need to be educating ourselves about the LGBTQ+ community and standing up against discrimination and prejudice. This is how we’ll help to create a more inclusive world for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

To encourage sharing and celebrate diversity and inclusion in our workplace, I asked a few of our people what Pride Month means to them:

“In a world that is increasingly recognising and celebrating diversity, it’s truly heart-warming to witness the rise of events like Pride Month. These celebrations play a vital role in encouraging individuals to embrace their true selves, free from shame or fear. Personally, I am immensely grateful for such occasions as they pave the way for a society that values personal choice and independence.

Reflecting on my own journey, I realise that I once treaded the path of ignorance, unaware of the struggles and challenges faced by those who dared to be different. However, with time, my perspective transformed, and I learned the importance of approaching others without judgment or prejudice. Every person has their unique story and experiences, and it is crucial that we take the time to understand and respect their individual journeys.”

James Lewis, Senior Partner

“Pride is about challenging my own biases and flaws by listening, not speaking. As an ally, I take the time to listen with empathy to the experiences of others, especially those I am lucky enough to not have to face myself.

I don’t think many people understand the extent of the history of the LGBTQ+ community, or the dedication and suffering that has taken place to get us to where we are today. There is still much work to be done, but if we all stand together to fight for equality, we can create a better world for the next generation of LGBTQ+ people.

Pride is about allowing and encouraging people to be their true, authentic, unapologetic selves. It’s about recognising that in society, all of our differences create strength.”

Abbie Strachan, Researcher

“What strikes me about Pride is that, as well as everything it stands for, it is an expression of joy, openness, and celebration. It is a demonstration of how things should be rather than what they so often are. The undertone is serious and important, and we still have much to do around the world to change hearts and minds.

Pride is an expression, a feeling, of happiness and togetherness. It makes statement, in a broader context, about how society should be: Open, inclusive, authentic, and supportive. The power of this will be demonstrated all around the world and will provide an extremely poignant counterpoint when we consider what’s happening under authoritarian, selfish and narrow-minded regimes. We could all do with more ‘Pride’ in the world.”

Matthew Leedham, Partner

For me, Pride is a reminder of the importance of treating everyone fairly and without bias, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. In particular, it puts pressure on businesses to use their privilege to foster a safe environment where all employees feel comfortable being themselves.

It’s also a time to listen and learn from each other’s experiences, to help gain a better understanding of the challenges faced, as well as to learn from each other’s strengths. While Pride Month is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, it is also a reminder that we need to keep the conversation going to prohibit discrimination and harassment and create a society built on respect and inclusion.

Dorothy Hall, Personal Assistant

“I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by friends and family who are open and accepting of people’s differences and preferences. However, that’s not the case for everyone.

For me, Pride means increasing awareness of the LGBTQ+ people who still face discrimination and violence, simply for being who they are. Every person should have the ability to live a life free from fear and prejudice. It’s our job to make sure discrimination isn’t tolerated. You don’t have to like or be friends with everyone, but abusive and unkind treatment to anyone should not be accepted.”

Lauren Goodger, Marketing Director

“Pride for me is about belonging, freedom, and acceptance. As an ally, it’s about encouraging those who are marginalised to strive forward, be authentic and live the life they want to live – to own their identity. I also think it’s important that we all come together to celebrate the important and ground-breaking steps made when it comes to fighting social injustice, albeit mindful of the fact that the race for universal acceptance is far from won.”

Martin Smith, Head of Interim

“For me, Pride means being able to be yourself, surrounded by people who are like you, who support you, who encourage you, and who love you. It’s something to celebrate and learn from. Hearing peoples’ stories, having fun, celebrating people’s love, in an inclusive, happy environment. It’s a time to reflect on what people have gone through, what people still go through, and to talk about how to continue to move forward within and outside of the community. It means asking how we can change conscious and unconscious biases, and how we can encourage positive change.”

Philippa Higgins, Receptionist and Office Assistant

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