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Putting people first for Pride

Jun 23, 2022

At Team ITG, we embrace a culture of diversity and inclusivity, ensuring everyone feels they can be their true selves when they come to work. Part of this is supporting fantastic causes such as Pride Month, and this year we spoke to some of our Diversity Team members about what it means to be an LGBTQ+ Team ITGer.

What does being part of the LGBTQ+ community within Team ITG mean to you?

“I’m never afraid to be who I am at Team ITG – within my team and the company I’ve always felt that I can be totally authentic and always bring my whole self to work. That is a testament to the open and diverse culture we have at Team ITG!”
Becky Merriman

“We all need a place to belong, to feel safe and to be our true selves and I know this community is that space. I am new to the LGBTQ+ community and was (and still am) very nervous about talking about my life change with colleagues. This space will allow me to further explore who I am and ask those all-important questions with people who are going through or have been through similar changes. It’s great to have some allies at work.”
Sarah Thompson

What advice would you give to others at Team ITG who are ready, or even not quite ready, to be their authentic selves with their colleagues?

“Absolutely no pressure to do this whatsoever – divulging any kind of personal information at work can be daunting, so this should only be done at your pace, at the right time, when you feel comfortable to do so. Discretion and trust are hugely important parts of this and hopefully the LGBTQ+ group is a space where like-minded people can talk informally in absolute confidence.”
Paul Viggers

“There’s no right way to look or be LGBTQ+. Don’t feel pressured to conform to stereotypes or norms, unless these are helpful/affirming for you. Being LGBTQ+ is a beautiful thing. You are part of a big, loving and wonderful community, with so many other people like you. You are never alone. You must never feel pressured to “come out”, today or ever. But know you’re never “too old” if you do want to – the right time is only if you feel ready and comfortable.”
Zoe Plummer

As an LGBTQ+ person at Team ITG, what has your experience been like? Has this been different to anywhere else you’ve worked?

“I’ve always felt accepted at Team ITG for who I am and I know I’m very fortunate to have never faced any discrimination, but that is just a testament to the amazing open culture we have in the business!”
Abbie Bayliss

“My experience has always been so positive at Team ITG, I’d like to think due to the culture we have where everyone is accepting – this has always been the case for me!”
Becky Merriman

How has the support from the business, especially during Pride Month, made a difference to you?

“It really has shown me how Team ITG has grown not only globally as a business but also in terms of their attitude and support to the hugely diverse workforce they have. The recent comms and company-wide newsletter takeover for Pride really has shown me they support every employee in being their “true selves”.”
Paul Viggers

“The business’ support throughout pride has meant a lot to me, it’s been great to see all of the changes that have happened throughout June and now more than ever, it feels like such an inclusive place to be. I appreciate there is always more that can be done but over time I know we will continue to make changes that ensure everyone can always bring their whole selves to work.”
Abbie Bayliss

What does Pride mean to you?

“Everything! I wouldn’t have had the courage to do this if those before me hadn’t changed popular opinion by demonstrating for our rights and pushing for acceptance. Yes, there is still a way to go but changes are happening. We all need to find our sense of belonging however long that takes.”
Sarah Thompson

“It’s always important to remember that Pride is about celebrating who you are, but also recognising that many in the world do not have the same rights that we’re lucky enough to enjoy. Being LGBTQ+ in some countries is still illegal and even in more “progressive” countries, laws are being rolled back to make life more difficult for individuals and communities to live freely. I’m extremely fortunate to enjoy to positive aspects of Pride, but I never forget about those who paved the way and continue to fight for what we have and still need.”
Emile Fontenoy

What are you doing to celebrate Pride this month, or beyond?

“Other than working so closely with our Diversity Champions to implement some of the Pride activities, outside of work I will be attending Birmingham Pride with my fiancé and friends!”
Becky Merriman

“I’ll be attending a couple of Pride celebrations this summer! London Pride is back after two years of cancellations due to Covid, so it will be great to watch the parade and soak up the atmosphere (and hopefully sun!) in Trafalgar Square with so many different people.”
Emile Fontenoy

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