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Victoria Rowland, Inspirational LGBT Ally at Sage

Category: LGBT, LGBT event, LGBT inclusion, Award, LGBT Community, Top Tips, LGBT Network, British LGBT Awards, Annual award, sage, LGBT Ally, LGBT Award

LGBTQ+

The British LGBT Awards 2022

I am so humbled by my nomination as a Top Ten finalist in the British LGBTA awards Top 10 Business Allies 2022 - British LGBT Awards in the ‘Business Ally’ category. The allies on this list are inspirational, and I feel honoured appearing alongside them.

I take my role as an ally very seriously. In fact, I believe it is my duty to support the LGBTQ+ community and take action where needed, whether this is challenging discriminating behaviour, helping somebody build up confidence that has been destroyed by others, or helping shape policies and procedures that will ensure that LGBTQ+ communities are entitled to the same benefits as other colleagues.

It's easy to say that you are an ally, but really being one takes some practice and action, not just talk……… and I learn something new every day!

My top 5 tips for being the very best ally you can be!

  • You will never know it all! It is a constant learning process; you will make mistakes along the way, but be ready to listen and learn every day
  • Don’t pretend that you can relate to somebody’s situation; as a straight ally, I don’t know what it’s like to come out to somebody, or to feel the pain of being judged, because of who I love. I will however listen to you and help you through your situation, in any way that I can.
  • Challenge behaviours where you see the need; The moment I realised I needed to become an ally in business, as well as in life, was when I overheard a conversation in a previous role, about a ‘photocopier being gay’, because it wasn’t functioning. I used this as an opportunity to educate the individuals, on how their terminology can hurt others
  • If you say you are going to be there for somebody, be there; we all have busy lives, and time can run away with us, but if you have offered to be somebody’s ‘ear to bend’ in a time of need. You won’t always have the answers, but you can certainly offer support to do some research to find them.
  • Don’t rely on others to educate you; do your own research, attend relevant talks and events. I will always consult my dear LGBTQ+ friends, family and colleagues to check I am on the right track, but the learning journey is yours to own, as an individual!

I am so proud to work for Sage where we are ‘breaking down barriers so everyone can thrive’, on a daily basis!

If you are interested in learning more about how to create an inclusive space for your colleagues, please feel free to reach out.

 

Victoria Rowland

Early Careers Talent Specialist and Founding Member/UKI Lead for Pride at Sage 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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