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Embracing a more inclusive vision of Pride

7 Jun 2023

Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith

Group People and Culture Director

Pride Month, taking place in countries across the world, underlines the importance of championing individuals, respecting our differences, embracing diversity, and working together to deliver better.

It’s a month in which people come together, to show how far LGBTQIA + rights have come, and how in some places there's still much work to be done.

Marking Pride and supporting our LGBTQIA+ colleagues is one of the levers of Pick Everard’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy. We believe that celebrating the differences amongst us is not only our responsibility in delivering benefit to our community and clients but will also help us reach our full potential by harnessing the perspectives, beliefs, and backgrounds of all our colleagues.

Changing the day to-day experiences of LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace relies on culture change. We know we need everyone to activate, be proactive and be part of the solution to our I&D workplace challenges. That starts with each one of us doing something different and embracing the opportunity to be a great ally. That’s why this year, we’re embracing the month as an opportunity for LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies to unify, learn more from external experts, and pave the way for a more inclusive workplace. It’s one where we’re celebrating, supporting and challenging ourselves to realise the Pride vision of equity and inclusion.

We are on a journey at Pick Everard, and we have a clear plan in place to drive forward our objectives in this important area. Our milestones to date have included:

  • Becoming members of Building Equality - an alliance of construction consultants, engineers, developers, contractors, and institutions who are passionate about working together and harnessing our collective power to drive LGBTQ+ inclusion in the construction, engineering and built environment industry.
  • We’ve sponsored and taken part in our first Pride Event – and there’s many more to come
  • Talked to over a hundred LGBTQIA+ individuals and their families about inclusive career opportunities within construction
  • We’ve released toolkits within our business on coming out at work and how to be a good ally, readily accessible on the diversity pages of our online People Hub
  • We’ve welcomed external experts to share their knowledge and personal experiences with our colleagues
  • We’ve held a mental health talk with our mental health first aiders on the mental wellbeing impact of acceptance and coming out at work

As a compassionate employer, we are committed to building the knowledge of our people and drawing on the ideas and involvement of our workforce to develop a more inclusive environment. I want all our LGBTQIA+ colleagues and their allies to look positively towards the next steps in our journey. Our onward plan involves establishing diversity and inclusion champions, harnessing the community across the industry to drive change for under-represented groups, critically reviewing our policies for inclusivity and using our EDI data to map the journey and experiences of our LGBTQIA+ colleagues so we can strengthen our path to equity.