Category: LGBTQ Inclusion, LGBTQ Community, Pride Month, LGBTQ+, LGBTQ Equality, Pride 2021
This Pride month, we have been involved in the Allyship in Action challenge, a month of video-sharing to grow our understanding of allyship, inside and outside of the organisation.
Conor Bannister, our L&D Adviser, shares why this is important at Which?: 'The Allyship in Action challenge promotes insight into the experiences of others. Increasing our awareness of our privileges and our exposure to new perspectives is at the heart of this shift. This challenge helps us to take ownership of our development by consuming a bitesize piece of content each day of the month. I hope this can develop more of a learning culture at W? so that we can grow as people day-by-day.'
We also caught up with Hannah Burke, chair of the LGBTQ+ network to hear her thoughts on the importance of Pride month and the latest update on the LGBTQ+ network and how you can get involved.
'Pride Month is a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities around the world, recognise how far we have come in terms of progress for LGBTQ+ people, and realign our focus to allow us to continue to push forward with making the world a better place for our communities.
Pride at home
Last year, many of us celebrated Pride at home, with our immediate friends, families and loved ones, rather than out on the streets surrounded by our beautiful LGBTQ+ siblings and allies. For some people though, lockdown and staying at home meant significant changes to their living situations and their ability to not only celebrate Pride, but live their lives as their full, authentic selves. Charities like akt, the LGBT Foundation and Switchboard have seen demand for their services skyrocket during the pandemic, with lockdown having a significant impact on the community’s mental health (particularly among young people).
'This year though, while we won’t be marching up and down streets across the country just yet, things look and feel a lot brighter. We’re able to meet up with our friends and loved ones to celebrate again, we can revisit some of our favourite LGBTQ+ spaces – many which haven’t been able to open since March 2020 – and we can look forward to things gradually (but finally!) returning to normal.
What Pride means to me
'For me, Pride is so much more than just participating in a march, or hitting up a drag brunch with my friends. Pride is an opportunity to renew my focus on how I can better stand in solidarity with others across the LGBTQ+ communities – because we are a multitude of communities with broad and diverse experiences of being LGBTQ+ rather than one monolithic group – to ensure that when we celebrate Pride, it’s a celebration of all LGBTQ+ people.
The LGBTQ+ network
'At Which?, we’ve been taking steps to ensure that everyone who works here knows they can bring their full, authentic selves to work – for example, through working towards becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion, profiling a diverse range of LGBTQ+ voices through our internal comms and events, encouraging the use of pronouns in our communications with others (I’m always so delighted when I see how many people across the organisation have these included their pronouns in their email signatures!), and encouraging allies to join and participate in the network as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+, to encourage people to demonstrate active allyship in their day-to-day lives.
'Thinking ahead to what more we need to do, we will be looking at ways we can ensure more people feel empowered to get involved in the network and the events and initiatives we put on, especially as we make the transition to hybrid working. We’ll be working with different teams across the organisation to ensure that LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion is embedded into the work we do and the spaces and systems that we use at work – including the addition of pronouns on staff intranet profiles – and we will be continuing to strive to create and nurture a safe space for all LGBTQ+ employees at Which? to bring the best version of themselves to work.’
Hannah Burke, chair of the LGBTQ+ network