Pride was set up to provide a welcoming, supportive, safe and confidential space for staff affected by sexual orientation and gender identity issues and is a place where they can share experiences, ideas or concerns. It also raises awareness of LGBTQ+ issues across Gateley and ensures enhanced awareness is reflected in a positive, inclusive and fulfilling working environment.
Over the last 12 months, we have shared guidance on how people can be an effective ally to LGBTQ+ colleagues and have shared stories to raise awareness on FRED, our intranet, and through lunch and learn sessions. We celebrated LGBT+ History Month in February and during the month we asked colleagues from across the Group to share their personal and powerful stories on FRED about their experiences, what it was like for them to “come out” and advice they would give.
We are proud to be Stonewall Diversity Champions and have strong relationships with external LGBTQ+ groups and networks. We have collaborated on projects with local community based LGBTQ+ related charities (including pro-bono work, fundraising, volunteering and mentoring) such as support of the LGBT Centre in Leicester and SupportU in Reading.
Pride also provides opportunities for internal networking; to inform and influence the business on LGBTQ+ issues by providing an effective consultation mechanism for HR, L&D, the Strategic and Operations Boards. The work that we have done has improved our position by 9 places in the 2020 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index to 219 and we increased our score by 12 points to 79.
Meet our head of Pride
How long have you been with Gateley?
I’ve been with Gateley since March 2011, and although the business has always had a diverse and welcoming culture, the Gateley Pride initiative introduced formally in 2017 has been a great step forward in demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion to our people, clients and local communities throughout the UK.
Why is Pride important for you and for Gateley?
I’ve been proud to stand up as a gay partner and lead a committee of fantastic, enthusiastic and committed people from all aspects of the LGBT+ community plus our Allies. With the support of the Board we have partnered with Stonewall as Diversity Champions to raise awareness of the LGBT+ community to all members of the Gateley group, highlighting issues that are important to us locally, nationally and globally. And I’m delighted to say we have received overwhelming support from our colleagues, who have been keen to learn more about issues that matter to us, and to understand the impact they can have on the mental and physical well-being of colleagues, friends and family. We aim to support the business in ways that have a real impact, and in doing so we making great progress in our rise up the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
How does Gateley support Pride?
Perhaps most rewarding has been the work we have done to raise funds for LGBT+ charities that make an impact in our local communities. We have curated exhibitions for LGBT History Month, organised lunch and learn sessions, held bake offs, quizzes, a treasure hunt and even a bingo evening and thanks to the generosity of the committee, our colleagues and the Board we have been able to make meaningful donations this year to SupportU in Reading and the LGBT Centre in Leicester at a time when their support and guidance has been needed more than ever.
We are proud to be a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme.
The Diversity Champions Programme is the leading employers' programme for ensuring all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) staff are accepted in the workplace, without exception.