"Be yourself" says LGBT forum
Mentoring is a core development opportunity available to everyone at Enterprise.
LGBT is an ‘invisible’ diversity, and these employees can require extra support. The figures speak for themselves:
- 62% of graduates who are ‘out’ go back into the closet when they start their first job
- 50% of LGBT people under 25 have considered suicide
- 20% LGBT people under 25 have attempted suicide
Get to know your staff on a personal level to create a more inclusive and happy workplace.Sak Gill, AVP of Rental UK/IE
As a Stonewall diversity champion, the LGBT Forum on 9 November was an opportunity to improve inclusivity further.
A key theme was the importance of role models. Keynote speaker Superintendent Julie Fry MBE of the Hampshire Police, Regional Business Development Manager, Paul McCorkell and Ashley Hever, Talent Acquisition Director UK/IE, each shared inspirational personal stories.
Julie talked about how she realised she was not interested in men in her teens but lacked identifiable role models to express who she was.
This continued into her first posting as a policewoman. She ignored her sexuality – others did not. Abusive words were written on her locker at age 22 and she sought a transfer.
It was only after several years that she finally came out to her parents. Three years later she came out at work. Both went well. On her way to senior police status, she has become involved in LGBT issues and is now a role model herself.
“It takes energy to hide who you are,” said Sak Gill, AVP of Rental UK/IE in the panel discussion. “So we have to create an environment that allows employees to be themselves at work.”
This is why Enterprise creates platforms for employees to celebrate their identity: events like the LGBT Forum, Pride, our regional committees, as well as #EnterPride and the @Drive_Diversity Twitter.
To be a more diverse and inclusive company we need to collaborate and innovate new ideas with an engaging message to the branches.Bridget Long General Manager/ Vice President U1