It starts with marching for Pride.

To mark LGBTQ+ History Month, and as part of the ongoing awareness activity of our Equity Forum, we asked Jay Morris, Learning and Development Specialist for Nursing at Nuffield Health and member of our Equity Forum, what LGBTQ+ History Month means to him and what we can do to support our LBGTQ+ friends and colleagues.

What does Nuffield Health do to support LGBTQ+ in the workplace? 

“Nuffield Health truly advocates and embraces equality and diversity and is committed to providing a safe space for people to be the best authentic versions of themselves at work. I believe that diversity and celebrating difference is deep-rooted into the culture at Nuffield Health and our recently created Equality, Diversity and Inclusion forum is a welcomed platform whereby LGBTQ+ colleagues can openly discuss matters that are  important to the LGBTQ+ community, and we are listened to. The forum encourages the sharing of experiences (both positive and negative) in a meaningful way that challenges the status quo, so changes can be explored to build upon and improve the experiences of the LGBTQ+ workforce. In addition, the ‘Rainbow’ project team are striving to develop and implement policies, processes and best practices with the aim of ensuring the charity is an inclusive place, not just for employees, but for patients and customers too. Nuffield Health also gets involved and supports local Pride events!”

How can we support LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues? 

“Here are a few suggestions in which you can make a real difference and support your LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues. You could host an inclusion workshop or an LGBTQ+ lunch and learn or coffee morning. This is a great opportunity to reduce biases against the LGBTQ+ community and advocate inclusion at work. Actively encourage individuality within your personal friendship circles and at work in your teams and for your teams to bring their whole selves to work each and every day. It’s important to highlight, authenticity is pointless without inclusion, so also consider ways to create inclusivity within the workplace. Become an ally and promote inclusive practice for everyone by adding pronouns to your email signatures and on your social media accounts. Allyship is very much focused around building relationships with the LGBTQ+ community that is based on trust, consistency and accountability. Lastly, and most importantly, always stand up to and challenge hate and discrimination whenever you find it. You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to champion equality, diversity and inclusion. Without fierce allies supporting the LGBTQ+ community, we would not have made the progress we have to date.”

Nuffield Health Leeds celebrating Pride

What does LGBTQ+ history month mean to you? 

“LGBTQ+ history month provides a great opportunity to reflect and to learn about the many people, role models, organisations, communities who are owed a huge debt of gratitude, who have paved the way, fighting for equality for the LGBTQ+ community. This month reminds me of those triumphs, but it is also a stark reminder of the fights that still remain and that there is still so much headway to be made. 2022 will also be the 50th anniversary of the first ever pride event in the UK. Those who march at Pride events pledge allegiance and continue to celebrate and defend LGBTQ+ diversity and equality. I am so incredibly proud of who I am and to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community making history – Happy LGBTQ+ History Month

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