Morgan Lobb is the CEO and founder at VERCIDA Group and oversees the growth of the business.
A passionate diversity and inclusion advocate, we thought it well worth taking five with our leader to find out what he thinks the issues LGBT+ employees face and how businesses can tackle these issues to create an inclusive workplace for all.
Morgan grew up on council estates across Bodmin, Cornwall and Bristol and in the absence of a father figure was brought up by his mother. From a diverse background he notes that discrimination was not something he experienced much during his childhood.
“When you live on a council estate the commonality is that it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, Chinese or black; you’re all poor and you’re in it together. There was a good sense of community but as you climb the social ranking the community becomes less diverse. Now I live in stark contrast to the poverty of my childhood. I appreciate it more because of my upbringing. I know the value of zero very well,” said Morgan.
At VERCIDA towers we pride ourselves on providing an inclusive working environment and as a team we are about as diverse as it gets, and we love it.
This month is LGBT+ history month and to show our support we have been interviewing employees from our client’s companies. One thing we’ve learnt from our brand ambassador interviews is that this month is about education, whereas Pride month (June) is more about celebrating the community.
“LGBT+ history is about talking about some of those pain points and it’s about being honest about the past and understanding where it came from through education. Pride is about understanding where it’s going and celebrating where it is,” said Morgan.
For those that are both part of the LGBT+ community and those that aren’t, education is a key factor in understanding the challenges the community have faced over time, and still face today.
Educating yourself as an adult is to be encouraged, but could schools be doing more to teach children?
“The light needs to be shined on it on a constant basis. More needs to be done in schools and taught from the grass roots. l believe there needs to be more education around what it means to be gay and the edge off it being different needs to dissolve,” said Morgan.
When you look at the history, to most members of modern society, past treatment of the LGBT+ community is shocking.
“You’d have to be pretty ignorant to not be shocked by the history. The reason that people don’t feel they can come out and be gay is because it’s not accepted by others. They see people getting beaten up on buses and there is a feeling that being gay means ‘less than’,” said Morgan.
One of the reasons Morgan started VERCIDA Group is because his best friend didn’t feel he could come out at work because of the macho environment of his workplace. Seeing the discrimination affect someone so close to him gave him an incentive to start a company based on the notion of ‘bringing your whole self to work’. This notion is an integral part of our company culture and we translate this culture into the businesses we work with along with training those businesses on how to achieve an open and respectful workplace atmosphere.
When asked how candidates can discover if the businesses they are investigating have this inclusive culture Morgan said:
“I would say research a business and really look in to how their inclusive message flows though the organisation. It’s great to see a company advertising LGBT+ products but does it resonate through their brand or is it commercially driven? Ask questions about the workplace culture. Look for visual clues. You can research whether there’s been cases of homophobia and you can look on VERCIDA to see if they have initiatives for the LGBT+ community such as staff networks.”