Pride @GBG – where everyone can be their authentic selves
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Pride @GBG – where everyone can be their authentic selves

By Richard Smith, Business Development Director and inclusivity advocate

Diversity and inclusion are important to our life at GBG. We are a team of over 1,200 people worldwide and we want to create a workplace where everybody feels they can be their true, authentic selves and know they have allies. So, it seems right that this Pride month we take a look at how GBG is supporting the LGBTQ+ community and the steps we’ve made to improve inclusion.

At GBG, our global diversity and inclusion programme is called be/yourself. It covers five different focus areas: age and experience; gender equality; neurodiversity, accessibility and mental health; race, religion, nationality and location and sexual identities, including LGBTQ+ and gender fluidity.

My colleague, Chris Salusbury, and I co-chair the Sexual Identities programme. We are working closely with the senior leadership team to create an inclusive environment for all LGBTQ+ team members, and I’m pleased to say we’ve made meaningful progress over the past 12 months. 

Stonewall partnership

We have partnered with Stonewall, one of the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ charities, which does excellent work in campaigning for equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across the globe. Chris and I recently attended their first workplace conference in London, where we heard first-hand some of the challenges people and organisations have faced with LGBTQ+ inclusion, in many cases intersecting with age, race, disability and religion. We left with a greater perspective and deeper appreciation of the issues the community often faces in the workplace, and it is helping us navigate potential challenges and better support for our team members.

Educating our team

An area of focus this past year has been providing our team members with educational LGBTQ+ content and an open and safe forum to discuss issues and ask questions. We use our internal intranet platform, be/connected, to share blogs, practical advice and news. The content has had a great response from team members across the globe, who have really engaged with it and even made suggestions for tools to help them be better allies in some cases.

We go into Pride month celebrating all that we have achieved so far, and all we aim to achieve this year. We are incredibly proud of our team which has shown unity and support for LGBTQ+ people across the world.

Why programmes like be/yourself are important

For most of my life, I struggled with my own identity. It wasn’t until the age of 40, that I was able to accept my true self. With GBG’s support, I found the strength to live authentically as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, at home and work.

The freedom I felt, and still feel today, encourages me to want to help others who may be struggling to achieve the same sense of liberation. This is especially important to me as, working for a global organisation, I’m passionate about ensuring that team members from all cultures and backgrounds experience the same opportunities and rights as I do.

Programmes like be/yourself at GBG are so important in the workplace. As our team of champions and our diversity and inclusivity continue to grow, so does our strength.


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