At Broadgate, part of Trinnovo Group, we have been shining a spotlight on the inspirational LGBTQIA+ leaders in our community, highlighting their thoughts on the importance of Pride, what it means to them and how we can do more to empower this community in the workplace.
We have been sharing some of their impactful answers on our social channels throughout June, but want to take the message beyond simply highlighting the importance of Pride, but also share the stories and sharing the insights of our network of inspirational leaders, enabling our community to learn how we can do more to act as allies and advocates for our LGBTQIA+ community.
Toby Mildon is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant for his own firm, Mildon Ltd. Toby provides diversity and inclusion guidance to many companies. His focus is on developing diversity and inclusion strategies with senior HR leaders and delivering training that develops inclusive leaders.
What does Pride mean to you?
In Toby's view, pride is the freedom and confidence to discuss sexuality openly in the workplace without fear of shame. It could mean being able to openly talk about what you and your same-sex partner did at the weekend in heteronormative work culture and not feeling ashamed of it.
What makes you feel empowered in the workplace?
For Toby, empowerment means being trusted to deliver your work in a way you think is best for you, as well as working in a way that works for you. This allows your business to flourish as a result of the individual success.
How can colleagues be allies in the workplace?
Many colleagues can be allies in small ways, such as calling in microinequities when they spot them to ensure that you are okay; asking how your weekend went with your partner without judgement; or challenging policies that are not fair to LGBTQIA+ community members, such as equitable parental and family policies.
What can businesses do to empower the LGBTQIA+ community?
By listening first, businesses can empower members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is important to understand the experiences of LGBTQIA+ employees and identify barriers that prevent them from feeling as if they belong, are respected, empowered, or are able to advance in their roles. As a leader, it is your responsibility to remove these barriers, so that people can thrive.
Advice to your younger self
In Toby's advice to his younger self, he would tell himself not to hide, that his sexuality is just as important as his disability, that he should be unashamed, and that he should come out as a teenager (and not wait until he is 29 years old).
At Trinnovo Group as part of our Pride campaign, we are raising money for Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), a non-profit member-driven organisation that was founded in 2006. TENI has a vision for a world where all people, regardless of gender identity or expression, enjoy full acceptance, equality, and human rights.
Please feel free to donate to the cause here.