Pride Month is an important period in the global calendar. It celebrates the contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) people by acknowledging the incredible achievements of generations of campaigners who have achieved so much. Whether you’re LGBT+ or an Ally, Pride Month is a time for celebration, remembrance, love and support.

The Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village, Manhattan in June 1969 marked a boisterous turning point in the fight for LGBT+ rights.  It’s now a cradle of the modern LGBT+ movement. Due to this incredible movement at The Stonewall Inn – June became Pride’s month of celebration.

Pride Month is a series of fun events & activities designed to recognise the impact of LGBT+ people internationally. But the global struggle for LGBT+ rights are far from over. In some countries, LGBT+ individuals are criminalised, and capital punishments are still used.  Communities around the world continue to fight for equality to ensure large barriers are lifted and laws are introduced. These ensure the safety & acceptance for LGBT+ people.

We have made significant strides as a country. We are  one of the most vibrant, diverse and tolerant societies in the world. Many laws protect LGBT+ people from prosecution and much more allow them to be their true selves.

Pride Month is also a time for everyone to acknowledge the importance of diversity and inclusion – in and out of the workplace.

What is diversity and inclusion (D&I)

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique and recognising our individual differences. It is about understanding each other. And moving beyond simple tolerance to embrace and celebrate the rich dimensions of diversity within each individual.

Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It’s about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential.

Why is D&I so important to our industry?

Embracing diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do. But  let’s not shy away from the fact that it also makes business sense and profitability. If a team feel engaged and included – they will feel motivated. And they will contribute towards the company’s innovative approach to business excellence.

Research shows that gender and ethnically diverse companies outperform their peers. This is measured by business, financials and talent outcomes. Valuing diversity and inclusion brings innovation, enriches experiences, promotes growth and strengthens economic competitiveness. I agree with this. I would only work for a company that celebrates diversity, inclusion and equality. Don’t we all agree that we can be the best version of ourselves if we are treated as equals? This is regardless of race, age, gender, religion, disability and sexual orientation?

What we do within bartlett mitchell?

We take D&I very seriously from our HR practices, to training for our teams and an ethos that is enriched within our core values.

During Pride Month, we launched an LGBT+ Awareness course for all our teams. This educates us how to reduce stigma within the workplace and enable people to be comfortable in their own working environment. It contains diversity, important definitions within the LGBT+ community and useful tips for creating an LGBT+ friendly workplace.

It also includes interviews with members of the LGBT+ community to provide insight into the real-life experiences they have faced in the workplace.

You can see a clip of these interviews here which is included in the LGBT+ Awareness course.

We are also making a public commitment by signing up to the Women in Hospitality Travel Leisure Diversity Charter. This will continue our journey by continuing to promote an inclusive culture .

It is important to note the #blacklivesmatter movement that is taking place across the world.  It links to Pride and bartlett mitchell’s values. The Pride movement was started by Marsha P Johnson, a black trans women and others in June 1969 as they fought for LGBT+ rights. At bartlett mitchell we embrace all our team mates from diverse backgrounds. Racism, discrimination and violence is not okay. None of these are tolerated within bartlett mitchell. From personal experience – we lead with respect, dignity and fair treatment for all members of the #bmFamily💜💚.

Finishing words

This is a challenge for us all to be ambassadors for diversity and inclusion and treat each other with respect.

Take some time to understand something different and learn someone else’s challenges and perspective. Find someone who is not like you from the outset. For instance LGBT+, man/woman, person of faith (Muslim, Catholic, Christian etc.) or even someone who’s style is different. This will broaden our understanding of other people’s challenges from their personal point of view. We are all different which makes us all amazing – both personally and also within the working environment.

As Angelina Jolie once said, “Our diversity is our strength. What a dull and pointless life it would be if everyone was the same!”

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