Tell us more about bi-visibility day – and why is Lloyds Banking Group interested in this?
At Lloyds Banking Group, it is embedded in our culture to support inclusion from a colleague and customer perspective. Of course, we are interested in every part of L G B and T, however we know from our bi-annual colleague surveys, and from listening directly to our bisexual colleagues, that there are opportunities to improve.
I am always saddened by insight such as bi-colleagues feeling like their identity is not recognised in the workplace, or that they don’t feel comfortable telling management/colleagues that they’re bisexual. I can imagine it’s really difficult to come to work and feel you have to hide a part of yourself, or pretend to be something you’re not.
By organisations like us visibly supporting and getting more people talking about Bi-Visibility day, we hope this will help dispel some of the myths that surround bi-sexuality, and increase people’s awareness and understanding of challenges Bi people may face.
Lastly, we know a lack of visible role models is a real challenge in the workplace, how important are role models to inclusion and what advice would you give to people who are perhaps fearful of putting themselves forward as a role model?
Role models at every level of an organisation are hugely important to inclusion – they are probably the most effective way of making positive change as we are all human and the very real personal stories bring this to life for all of us.
I appreciate that stepping forward and sharing your own journey or personal life can be a difficult thing to do.
My advice for those who are perhaps a bit hesitant to come forward would be to think about the potential difference you could make to someone in your team, your office, your social network. I also know from speaking to role models, whilst they may not have seen themselves in this way and felt nervous stepping up in the past; once they did it made a massive impact to their own lives. You will be showing the world that your best self is your authentic self, and who could possibly argue that that’s a bad thing?