It was a real privilege to be part of the panel at our Engaging LGBT+ Allies event, hosted by Barclays on 23 January. Alongside Tamoor Ali (BP) and Yera Hagopian (Barclays) and moderated by James Allan (Barclays), we talked about why we are all passionate members of either the LGBT+ community or its allies. Points of discussion included tips on becoming effective allies, as well as a debate on what level of ‘banter’ can, or should be, tolerated.
Hannah Bernard (Barclays) opened the evening with a memorable quote by Out & Equal Executive Director Selisse Berry: “I believe that no one should ever have to choose between a career we love, and living our lives with authenticity and integrity.” In her keynote speech she shared her own personal experience as well as that of the bank and colleagues.
It was shocking to hear that over 60% of those who come out at university go back into the closet when they enter the workplace, as was James’ own experience. The figures and statistics Hannah highlighted during her speech – over half of LGBT people are not open to their colleagues about their sexual orientation and a third of LGBT allies have been harassed or bullied at work – show that equality and inclusion cannot be taken for granted, and how important LGBT allies are.
The networking was very special – engaging with others who are also passionate about supporting the LGBT+ community in the workplace.
It was the second of our Diversity & Inclusion Calendar events (the first one was Bridging the gender gap), I am clear that this was a very worthwhile programme to initiate – I’m looking forward to future sessions on unconscious bias, ethnicity and well-being – as well as revisiting the topics we have already initiated.
Caroline Stockmann, Chief Executive, ACT
“It’s great to see ACT start its journey on LGBT inclusion. It was fantastic to see the engagement from the finance community and the willingness to learn and make a difference for all in the workplace.”
Tamoor Ali, Originator, BP
“Barclays is proud to support this event in the ACT Diversity Series. LGBTQ+ allies play a key role in promoting an inclusive working environment. Our panel agreed that encouraging people to bring their whole selves to work improves engagement, attracts and retains talent and creates a happier, more productive workplace.”
James Allan, Managing Director – Corporate Banking, Barclays
— David Coulson (@DCoulsonACT) January 23, 2018
— Sulamith Waldmeier (@sulamithw) January 23, 2018
— Barclays Spectrum (@barclayspectrum) January 23, 2018