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Pride Month 2022 – Allyship in the workplace

Pride Month 2022 – Allyship in the workplace
May 6, 2022 Jess Illingworth

Why is it important to show allyship?

  • More than one third of LGBTQ+ staff hide who they are at work in fear of discrimination
  • 18% of LGBT staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues because they’re LGBT
  • 1 in 8 trans people have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans
  • 1 in 8 LGB people wouldn’t feel confident reporting homophobic or biphobic bullying to their employer

No-one should have to hide who they are at work because they are afraid of discrimination or physical violence. To watch what they do, what they say, and where they apply for jobs. It is unacceptable. There are things that we can all do to allow people to feel free to be themselves, no matter whether we identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not. Those of us who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ have a responsibility to show allyship and advocate inclusivity.

What does being an ally mean?

“Being visibly trans is hard. Everyday I read the latest torrent of anti-trans comments on social-media, be subjected to whispering and suffer high-levels of anxiety in certain situations.

Having allies make life easier. Walking into a situation where I know there are allies will make the experience far less stressful.

A real ally is someone that will call someone in and not necessarily only ever call them out if they make a derogatory comment. They will also be supportive in every situation because they believe all people should be treated equally and with respect.” – Terri Lamerton


“As a female, I have experienced negativity because of my gender and biological sex. Within Rowe, there are allies from the top down.  My role as an ally is to continually ensure we tackle inclusivity through our policies and practices, recruiting and other systematic or cultural bias. Support and kindness is something we can all do.” – Hannah Rowe


“To me, being an ally means believing in equality for people who identify as LGBTQ+. Being an ally means taking the time to listen and trying to understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ people. Being an ally means doing my best to make a difference through my day-to-day actions.” – Jess Illingworth


Five ways you can be an ally at work

  1. Educate yourself (and others) – confront your own prejudices and bias.
  2. Pronouns – use the correct pronouns, put your own pronouns in your email signature if you feel comfortable to do so.
  3. Don’t expect to be perfect immediately – but make an effort to improve when you get things wrong.
  4. Don’t ask LGBTQ+ people intrusive questions.
  5. Reporting – stand up if you hear something offensive being said and make sure you know the channels to use to report it properly.