Allies, show your Pride!

Pride is a time for celebration – a time to come together and show the whole world the big love we share for each other as unique individuals. Yesterday (June 28th) marked the 50th anniversary of the first ever Pride march, a revolutionary parade that ignited the fight for LGBTQ+ rights around the world.

Right now things are different due to the pandemic, but that won’t stop us from helping to educate others on the importance of being an LGBTQ+ ally. There’s never been a better time for us to come together to celebrate inclusivity and togetherness and do everything we can to lift the spirits of our LGBTQ+ communities.

Being an ally means willing to act with and for others in pursuit of ending oppression and creating equality. At Virgin Media, we believe that everyone should have that sense of belonging enabling a culture of psychological safety.

Behind the parade, the landscape looks a little different then just rainbow colours and celebration. There’s real work to be done that each one of us can support.

Did you know Stonewall released some hard hitting facts in their LGBT in Britain reports:

  • 52% of LGBTQ+ people experienced depression in the last year
  • One in seven LGBTQ+ people avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff
  • One in eight LGBTQ+ people aged 18-24 said they’ve attempted to take their own life in the last year
  • More than a third of LGBTQ+ staff have hidden that they’re LGBTQ+ at work for fear of discrimination
  • One in ten black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ employees have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year
  • Nearly two in five bi people (38 per cent) aren’t out to anyone at work

At Virgin Media we have built our Belonging strategy, which supports in driving real change and a culture of inclusivity because we know we are stronger together and no one should be left behind. We have our thriving LGBTQ+ network that is leading the way with telling their stories and educating the business.

However, being an ally you have a role to play. Here’s what you can do:

Awareness: Make it your business to learn to be more inclusive – being aware of the needs and unique challenges of your team. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or getting terminology wrong either. Asking members of the group to share their lived experience and views with you helps build that all important trust.

Involvement: Take part in your company networks. If your company doesn’t have any, create one and build a group where you can have honest discussion and promote inclusion and equality

Voice: Use your voice to promote a sense of Belonging. Share key messages with your team, speak out and challenge language and behaviour that is not inclusive.

Listen: Always be prepared to listen without comment. This way, you’ll gain understanding of the true challenges and help you better support action.

Develop: Undertake inclusive training to develop you as a more inclusive member of our community.

Stay proud. Stay connected.

Posted on by Victoria Whitehouse