HFM Together: Celebrating PRIDE

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This June, HFM has been celebrating Pride month, culminating in our latest HFM Together event which featured conversations with Berkeley Wilde, CEO of The Diversity Trust and Paul Thompson, Founder of LGBT Capital. The hour-long webinar featured sessions looking at how an inclusive workplace environment should be created, as well as understanding the value of the LGBTQ+ community.

For our opening session, Berkeley Wilde set about de-bunking some of the common myths regarding the LGBTQ+ community, including:

  • Nobody here identifies as LGBTQ+ - This is wrong, LGBT+ people are everywhere. They are part of many communities, families, workplaces etc. Pride month is about raising the invisibility of LGBTQ+ people.

  • To make everyone feel equal, we should just treat everybody the same – Companies say the door is open for diversity and inclusion, but people might not want to come in. People need to see organisations allow them to be themselves. A good, authentic open space is so important for inclusion and this must be created, fostered and developed

  • Sexuality & gender diversity isn’t relevant – wrong. You can’t cut people into pieces and say different pieces belong in different places. Firms need to consider this and include the ‘whole’ person – not just one piece.

  • My work doesn’t involve thinking about it – Organizations need to research and engage with people so that they can be inclusive of all individuals

  • Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia isn’t a problem - wrong. Everyone can experience this, either directly or indirectly.

Watch the full session on Creating an inclusive workplace environment  HERE.

Wilde’s session was followed by a conversation with Paul Thompson, who talked about understanding the value of the LGBTQ+ community. Diversity and inclusion is about respect, he said - it is up to individuals and organisations to stop microaggressions before it can escalate into something worse.

There are unique issues facing the community compared to other minority groups, one of the most prevalent being the possible ‘invisibility’ of the community and its members. Although progress is being made, an estimated 50% of people are not open in the workplace, making it difficult to get support if they are not open with their colleagues. This is particularly true with the older generation.

So, how can you become an LGBTQ+ Ally?

  • Accept LGBTQ+ people for who they are – without having to explain themselves

  • Be LGBTQ+ affirmative – be positive

  • Ask LGBTQ+ how you can help – ask them what can and should be done to make a difference

  • Listen to LGBTQ+ people

  • Recognise, call out and challenge homophobia, biphobia & transphobia (but keep yourself safe

  • Get educated, read LGBTQ+ fiction & non-fiction

  • Follow LGBTQ+ influencers & organisations

  • Support LGBTQ+ groups and organisations

  • Celebrate the LGBTQ+ annual calendar of festivals & events

  • Add pronouns to your email signature

Watch the full session on Understanding the value of the LGBTQ+ community  HERE.

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