Celebrating Pride month

Throughout June our colleagues have been busy celebrating Pride month, sharing personal stories and lived experiences, discussing how to be a better ally and learning about the laws that impact LGBTQ+ people across the world. Here’s a re-cap of what we’ve been up to over the past four weeks.

What pride means to a member of the LGBTQ+ community

Fabian Castiblanco (Facilities Assistant) penned a personal blog post reflecting on what Pride means to him as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Fabian celebrated the progress we’ve made on gay rights in the UK, while pointing out that there’s work still to be done both here and in other countries. He challenged colleagues to think about what they could do personally to keep moving the Pride cause forwards, reminding us that together we can achieve great change.

Pride Quiz

The following week members of our Pride Take Action Group (TAG), Karen Lavelle (Head of Participant Management Product), Fabian Castiblanco and Lulu Arnett-Morrice (Communications and Engagement Manager) hosted a Pride-themed quiz which colleagues could take part in live, both in the office and from home.

The quiz covered a variety of topics from the meaning behind the different colours of the Pride flag to the number of countries where homosexuality is still criminalised, historical LGBTQ+ figures like Brenda Howard, mother of Pride, Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde, to facts and figures around UK Pride history. All quiz-takers took home new-found knowledge and George Player (PAF & Qualification Engagement Lead), our winner, got a box of chocolates too.

Raising funds for LGBTQ+ charity

At June’s Town Hall we did a live raffle draw which raised funds for AKT, a national charity providing support to LGBTQ+ youths facing homelessness. The prize was two tickets to the West End production of Wicked, and thanks to our colleagues’ generosity we raised a fantastic £1,022. After the Town Hall our colleagues took to the staff area where our Pride TAG had displayed posters. Eke Webb (Design Analyst) coordinated posters that showed how different countries protect, and in some cases prosecute, LGBTQ+ people across the world, and Lulu put together profiles on prominent LGBTQ+ figures throughout history, including Marsha P. Johnson, Derek Jarman, Justin Fashanu, Lady Phyll amongst others.

What it means to be an ally

In our final week of celebrations, we shared interviews with Jess McGoverne (Director of Corporate Affairs), Chris Lock (Senior Communications Manager) and Cecilia Portabales (Senior Change Analyst) on what it means to be an ally. They each reflected on what allyship means to them, why Pride is important and how we can continue to be an inclusive workplace. They reflected on the importance of supporting each other, celebrating differences and appreciating the unique contributions we can all bring to society, communities and our workplace.

This month we’ve shared, we’ve learnt and we’ve celebrated. Embracing differences and listening to all voices. Happy Pride!

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