Tell us about your role at Gallagher
Previously to joining Gallagher I was the HR Director (UK & Ireland) for Marsh, having formerly been the HR Director for Jelf when it was acquired by Marsh. I have a long career spanning decades now! And have therefore worked within a variety of HR roles across different business sectors including Engineering Consultancy, Utilities and telecommunications.
How are you involved with, or impacted by the LGBTQ community?
As a gay man I identify strongly with the LGBTQ community and have been involved with it in differing ways over the years. For example my husband was chairman of an inclusive rugby team and his team bid and won the rights to host the Union Cup (a European wide LGBTQ rugby tournament). He and his team hosted the event in Bristol in 2011 bringing together 1000+ LGBTQ players and supporters.
How has being involved with the LGBTQ community influenced your world view?
Being part of the LGBTQ community has highlighted the importance that comes from enabling someone to be their true self at work. This may be the only part of their life that they can show who they truly are. I have witnessed people being disowned by families and friends for being who they are and suffering from the pressure and stress that causes. It is vital we encourage an environment that people can be their true self, contributing fully to their work life and not only will they benefit enormously but so will their team and the business.
Why is Pride month important to celebrate?
It is important for many reasons, not least to show that society (within Gallagher and in the wider community) supports the LGBTQ community and we will not accept discrimination and persecution again. Especially now as homophobia is still alive and flourishing in parts of Europe. It is also a brilliant celebration of the wide spectrum that makes up society and that should be reflected within Gallagher.
What actions can colleagues take to ensure their LGBTQ colleagues, clients and community feel included every day – not just during Pride month?
It’s often the small subtle things that can make a difference. I think hopefully the days of open, direct discrimination are behind us but everyday language can still let us down. We need to think about that when chatting, and asking what we did with our “wives” at the weekend when some of us have husbands for example.