The beginning of June signals the start of Pride Month. The LGBT+ Pride movement has changed dramatically since its inception during the Stonewall Riots some 52 years ago. Pride month is a great opportunity to appreciate how much has changed for the better, but also how much work still needs to be done to create equality for all.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions, the majority of Pride and LGBT+ events have been cancelled or postponed. The inability for the LGBT+ community to make ourselves physically visible through these events and safe spaces means that, this year, it is all the more important to recognise Pride month and be visible in as many ways as possible. Hosting virtual events and utilising social media platforms have been powerful tools to shout about Pride month both in 2020 and 2021. However, a return to normality and in-person events in the near future will be very welcome, as many LGBT+ people will have felt the impact of isolation during the pandemic.
A diverse workplace challenges incumbent ways of thinking and its benefits cannot be understated, enabling businesses to positively evolve by attracting and retaining the best talent. Although the outlook is improving, LGBT+ individuals still appear to be underrepresented in the property sector and there remains a lack of senior LGBT+ role models. More poignantly, many people still feel uncomfortable revealing their identity in front of colleagues and being truly authentic, which highlights there is still a lot of work to do in order to change this.
I am passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and am delighted to be a part of LSH Together at its inception. I am very proud to represent the LGBT+ community within LSH, both as a member of the D&I Steering Committee and the Changing the face of property – Pride in Property network.
Whilst we look forward to returning to normality, I would like to emphasise the importance of Allies coming out in support of your fellow LGBT+ colleagues. I feel positive about the future, as we strive to create more diverse and equal space for all. In fostering an LGBT+ friendly workspace, I hope to enable all colleagues to thrive and feel empowered.
However you are celebrating Pride month this year, I encourage my LGBT+ colleagues to bring your whole self to work and be the change you wish to see in the workplace.
Matt Barter - Graduate Surveyor
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