Manchester Pride | LGBT in the Workplace

Rebekah Valero-Lee diversity


Throughout the August Bank Holiday weekend, Manchester will be celebrating Pride. Centred around the Gay Village, tens of thousands of people will gather together to celebrate the annual festival of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture, with its centrepiece parade.

In order to mark this event, Morson decided that this month’s charity dress-down day on Friday 25 August should be Pride themed. While still raising money for our two charities this year – The Christie and Alzheimer’s Society – the theme would reflect solidarity with the movement.

We sat down with Marc Oldland, our bid coordinator and EDI champion to discuss the important issue of sexuality in the workplace, and whether it is relevant for any business to need this information.

“It’s interesting. While progress has been made, many gay, bisexual and transgender people still worry that revealing their sexuality at work will have negative consequences. LGBT people like myself are still wary of the stigma associated with being gay in the workplace. When completing an application form I wonder if declaring my sexuality will hinder my chances.”

So does this reflect a feeling within the LGBT community that, while on the surface society wears the badges of acceptance and tolerance (with large public events like Pride taking place across the country), things under the surface aren’t quite as comfortable as we would like to believe?

“Those who are out and proud still stop to ponder, will this stop me getting promoted? Will I be treated equally? There is still a stigma of ‘old-fashioned’ mentalities in some areas.”

This leads back to an ultimate point – should sexuality be something that even needs to be declared on job applications? Is it really necessary in society or relevant to the role that you are applying for?

“Whilst I understand that diversity monitoring is here to help support the minority communities, by physically asking, is the employer singling me out? Here at Morson we do not ask for sexual orientation on our application/induction paperwork. Why? Because it doesn’t matter what your sexual preference is, as long as you have the skills and experience to do the job.”

That’s why Marc instigated Morson’s inclusion in the REC Diversity Pledge, Disability Confident Scheme and Mindful Employer Charter.

“In a very heterosexual-centric society I’m pleased to work for a company which recognises the importance of equality and diversity across its workforce and is working towards a fully inclusive workplace.”