Pride Month: Celebrating community, inclusivity and allyship

This Pride Month we've been exploring the theme of ‘Community’ and our LGBTQ+ Connections group have shared how we can create safe and supportive spaces, both at work and beyond through a variety of content and events. We want to ensure all our people feel able to thrive, contribute and be valued for who they are in our workplace community, so it has been great to see so many people engaging and learning about how we can advance inclusion in our workplace.

Eloise May, Trainee Solicitor and co-lead of our LGBTQ+ Connections groups shares an overview of what we got up to at the firm during Pride Month...

Attending Exeter Pride 

We started celebrating Pride Month early this year, by attending and sponsoring Exeter Pride. Due to a lack of funding, Exeter Pride was unable to go ahead in 2023 so it was great to be a part of bringing it back to our office locations' communities. Colleagues who attended were  also unexpectedly enlisted to carry the parade’s enormous Pride flag through the city centre which was an incredible experience!

Launching Pride lanyards 

LGBTQ+ Connections hosted an Elevenses (coffee and cake) in each of our locations to launch our new Pride lanyards. Although a lanyard might just seem like a small thing to some, it is really meaningful to those in the LGBTQ+ community to see so many colleagues across the firm wearing their lanyards and visually demonstrating their allyship. 

Launching lanyards was the perfect way to get people talking about how they can support  the LGBTQ+ community in our workplace and beyond!  

Promoting inclusive language  

LGBTQ+ Connections invited our people to a panel event exploring inclusive language in the workplace. Inclusive language refers to words or phrases which don’t reinforce stereotypes, bias, prejudice or discrimination. Language isn’t perfect and it’s always evolving, but when we communicate inclusively, we avoid making others feel excluded or marginalised. 

The session was an informative, educational and encouraging conversation about the importance of inclusive language to the LBGTQ+ community while also covering intersectionality. Following the discussion, we opened the floor to questions from the audience, which expanded the discussion even further.   

Engaging with Senior Leadership 

We held a roundtable discussion with our LGBTQ+ Connections group and Bola Gibson, Executive Director of Responsible Business, to share personal experiences, thoughts and ideas and continue the conversation about the aims of the group and how Foot Anstey can best support the LBGTQ+ community in the workplace. 

It was wonderful to see everyone getting so involved in celebrating Pride Month, but it's important to remember that we need to keep open conversations flowing year-round, and maintain our engagement with senior leadership  to continually evolve our workplace. 

Hear from a member of our LGBTQ+ Connections group...

The key takeaway from the panel for me was that we can all play a really important role in supporting each other's sense of safety and belonging at work. I've already seen and heard people talking about inclusive language in the workplace as a result of the panel which is fantastic - I'm looking forward to these conversations continuing!

Mollie Gascoigne Trainee Solicitor and LGBTQ+ Connections group member