At WeShape, we acknowledge and understand the importance of Pride. Although appreciation and education on LGBTQ+ communities. Pride should not be confined to one month, we decided to focus on some of our LGBTQ+ team to find out what Pride Month means to them.
Every year in June, we take time to recognise the identities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender, Queer and Intersex people. The first ever pride march was in June of 1970, over 50 years ago, to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. It is important to note although we have progressed as a society since the first march, LGBTQ+ people are still facing daily threats to their identity, globally.
Being myself in the workplace is a non negotiable for me, and I have always refused to hide aspects of my identity regardless of others perception or views. Although, I’m more than aware not everyone is as willing to risk being transparent about their queerness. In the workplace, it is unquestionably important to put LGBTQAI+ inclusion initiatives in place, to make sure that everyone has the right to feel safe, and treated equally.
Deloitte did a study that showed “around 80% of respondents report that their employers have introduced LGBT+ inclusion actions and initiatives, with nearly all (95%) believing that this has led to meaningful support for LGBT+ employees across the organisation”. It’s so important to educate everyone on people’s differences and that queer people *exist*, then and only then can you learn to accommodate, or empathise.
For me, working at WeShape, I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing people, with an inclusive culture and a 0 tolerance policy to absolutely any discrimination of any kind. More than just a tick boxing exercise, everyone at my organisation has ensured that I have felt wholeheartedly accepted, and I couldn’t ask for more. I’m part of the Diversity and Inclusion team as well, helping to lead the strategy to ensure that everyone has the right to feel as comfortable as I do. It’s a personal mission of mine to ensure that every voice is heard, and everyone has a seat at the table, regardless of who they are.
If you ever see anyone getting treated unfairly, or you notice discriminatory behaviour at work, please be a friend.
"The LGBTQ+ community is so wide and diverse, different people enable individual growth and education.
You can support and celebrate Pride month but consciously being aware of the environment you create, especially through language. Do you want to create a healthy, open environment that encourages healthy curiosity to educate people or a closed environment where people don’t feel comfortable to be themselves? For example, in group settings accidentally misgendering someone and not acknowledging or apologising for the mistake. Or when meeting someone new, closed assumptive questions are not always helpful such as “do you have a boyfriend?”. That just makes it uncomfortable on both sides of the conversation. You might be in an environment as well where you don’t know someone’s journey or they don’t even know themselves so language is so significant because they really do have an impact on people opening up.
The Women's football community is one that is very heavily linked to the LQBTQ+ and through the community I’ve learnt recently that healthy questions are really important too. Curiosity isn’t something to be afraid of so don’t be afraid to ask and answer questions within social cues. If you don’t know, then ask.
Ignoring something you don’t know or understanding for fear of offending can often be more isolating and you don’t learn anything that way. Address things head on if you want to educate yourself and be better at creating a comfortable environment for everyone. Vocality opens up for people to ask more questions and feel more confident in themselves.
Read more of our recent insights, ideas and points of view, curated by our expert network: