Macquarie has been celebrating Pride Month in the UK, but as our Pride EMEA employee network group explain, our commitment to D&I runs deeper - it’s embedded in our culture.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year Macquarie’s UK Pride Month celebration has shaped up to be the most dynamic, educational, and exciting to date. For Macquarie, the business of celebrating our differences and embracing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) continues all year round.
Macquarie’s Pride EMEA employee network group (Pride EMEA) aims to empower LGBTQ+ colleagues, clients, communities, and allies, by building an environment where everyone has equitable opportunities. The Pride EMEA network is made up of over 700 members of Macquarie staff – representing around a third of the staff population in this region.
“For us, D&I is about increasing diversity so that everyone can be their authentic selves and feel safe in their work environment,” says Sarah Fennell, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Macquarie in EMEA. “We do that by embedding the idea in the entire employee life cycle. That means empowering employees to do what they need to create more inclusive teams. For example, we have a buddy system in which LGBTQ+ employees buddy up with new recruits who also identify as LGBTQ+ to offer support and advice.”
This year Macquarie’s Pride Month celebrations comprised of a number of virtual events ranging from educational sessions, fundraising events and staff sharing their own personal experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community at work. In the regionally headquartered London office, an impressive 32-foot Pride Progress flag featured in the atrium as well as important messaging around inclusivity in the lobby.
While the celebrations run until mid-July, the network’s activities continue well beyond that. “Pride Month for us is in many ways a continuation of what we do throughout the year, which is acknowledging the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community and highlighting the work still to do,” explains, Harry Clifton, co-chair of Pride EMEA. “It’s just that during Pride Month, our activity is much more of a celebration.”
The efforts of Macquarie’s Pride EMEA network over the years have not gone unnoticed, with the company ranking No.33 in Stonewall’s most recent Workplace Equality Index - climbing a commendable 53 places since 2018 - but it has also had a significant impact in the community supporting a number of LGBTQ+ charities.
“It’s important that we have external visibility so that our clients, communities and potential new recruits can see the work that we’re doing and the type of organisation we are,” says Charlie Clark, co-chair of Pride EMEA. “This year, our chosen charity is the Outside Project, an LGBTQ+ community shelter and place for domestic abuse refuge. The choice of charity is voted on each year by the committee.”
Naturally, the pandemic initially impacted the network’s activity, with so much done in person and through networking events previously, but it certainly didn’t diminish its energy and enthusiasm as Harry explains: “We’ve had to pivot from hosting in-person events and adapt to a completely virtual environment like everyone else, but we're as successful as we've ever been – more so, perhaps. Over the past 18 months, we are extremely proud to have raised over £50,000 for our charities. I think this has given our members the feeling that we’re continuing as normal – we are still here for them remotely.”
The network’s recent events have placed focus on intersectionality and those who identify as LGBTQ+ alongside other social characterisations. The growing importance of intersectionality has allowed the Pride network to collaborate with Macquarie’s Fusion employee network group which seeks to empower colleagues of different races, ethnicities, cultures, and faiths.
“We hosted a virtual event last year with the Fusion network, featuring Munroe Bergdorf, trans model and activist, in conversation with Lady Phyll, co-founder of UK Black Pride, which was deliberately held following the death of George Floyd. It’s about people being able to embrace their entire identity – not just one part of it.” explains Geff Parsons, co-chair of Pride EMEA.
“It’s really important to us that as an employer Macquarie places trust in the committee to do what they believe they need to. It means people really put their hearts into it and are proud to be ambassadors and allies of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Macquarie’s ongoing commitment to workforce D&I ensures that our business remains innovative, sustainable and continues to meet the evolving needs of our clients, community, shareholders, and our people. We are making positive progress to increase diverse representation at all levels and sustain an inclusive workplace.
Sarah adds: “Our purpose is to ‘empower people to innovate and invest for a better future’ and we want to be creating an inclusive environment where our people feel able to be themselves and empowered to perform at their best.”
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