Embracing the full spectrum of London’s workforce

Claire Vyvyan
Source: Getty

With this year’s theme "Love Happens Here" apparent everywhere, the two-week long London Pride festival has been a fantastic demonstration of how inclusive and welcoming London is – a city that is also considered to be one of the world’s greatest business hubs.

However, many would say there’s still opportunity for the capital’s employers to be more inclusive and welcoming.

At work, more than two thirds of LGBTQ employees in the UK, to some extent, feel unable to be open about who they are. They fear being openly disparaged by colleagues or wish to avoid some form of discrimination, which might have serious implications for their wellbeing, their careers and even their safety.

Starting at the top

Research has shown that those LGBTQ team members who are comfortable being themselves at work are 30 per cent more productive. Creating work environments where everyone is valued and feels like they belong is good for all involved.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work at an organisation that cultivates both diversity and inclusion and I believe this starts at the very top.

Our founder and leader, Michael Dell, is passionate about the issue of workplace diversity and personally chairs our Global Diversity Council. He also recently signed the Catalyst CEO Champions for Change initiative along with more than 40 other industry leaders and chief executives, committing to support inclusion and gender equality within their organisations.

Every day I see how creating inclusive workplaces has all kinds of real and substantive rewards for business. We’re driven by the desire to hire and foster the skills of the best employees regardless of gender, orientation or race.

We know that the only way to achieve this is through the wellbeing of our employees globally and that’s a mantra we believe every business should have.

Global responsibility

Just as a business needs to understand the local impact of diversity, it also needs to recognise the responsibility it has globally.

Dell has a strong heritage of creating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) where team members build a positive culture through awareness and education, personal development and community. One of our fastest growing groups is our Pride ERG, where we promote the right to bring our whole selves to work regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and in doing so maximising their potential.

By celebrating diversity in the workplace, we continue our journey to be a better and more inclusive company and one that I’m truly proud to be part of.

Common goals

As the celebration approaches, I’m pleased to see so many companies supporting Pride and hope this means that the common goals we’ve all set ourselves will be achieved that much quicker.

I look forward to a time where acceptance, support and friendship is the normative experience for everyone in the LGBTQ community.

Tomorrow’s parade will be another step forward and I will be joining many of my colleagues on our open top bus as we celebrate being uniquely ourselves.

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