Travis Perkins staff will be using Pride month, this June, as an opportunity to educate themselves on what it means to be a good ally to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and questioning (LGBTQ+) people and colleagues.
This celebration is integral to the Group’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy - You Be You, It Makes Us Us - to help build a more diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone is welcome, feeling that they belong, and are comfortable to be themselves.
As part of this initiative, the company aims to ensure that everyone knows what it means to be an LGBTQ+ ally or supporter, and why it is an important part of creating an environment where LGBTQ+ colleagues and customers can feel safe and comfortable about who they are in and out of the workplace.
June was designated "Pride month", originally in the US, in celebration of the Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York that month in 1969, and are considered the founding event of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, giving birth the Pride events around the world.
During the month, TP employees will be invited to embrace the celebrations through active participation in a raft of activities, ranging from allyship education training, to reverse mentoring, and local leadership team discussions.
Those who feel comfortable will also be encouraged to add their preferred-gender pronouns to their email signatures, wear rainbow laces as part of their uniform in branches and stores nationwide, and dress brightly on Fridays throughout the month to show their support.
Robin Miller, General Counsel & Company Secretary for Travis Perkins plc and a sponsor for the Group’s LGBTQ+ network, explains the thinking behind the initiative: "Being an ally is about showing support for, and solidarity with, our colleagues from the LGBTQ+ community, and celebrating the diversity of our fantastic business.
"It requires a curiosity about our colleagues, a desire to educate ourselves, and sometimes, the willingness to step in and stand up to others. An ally shouldn’t be prepared to leave unacceptable behaviour unchallenged.
"Fostering a work environment where our colleagues can be themselves without fear of discrimination and to feel included and supported is essential to enabling them to be happy and productive.
"We’ll be a better place to work and better able to understand and serve our customers’ needs if our business genuinely reflects the diversity of our society and our customer base.
"Visibly celebrating and respecting difference is a key part of allyship. It helps us to attract the best people to work with us irrespective of social or ethnic background, gender, sexuality, disability or any other individual characteristics and makes us a stronger, better business,”
Acording to the UK-based LGBT+ rights organisation Stonewall, more than a third of LGBTQ+ people feel they have to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity at work for fear of discrimination.