Celebrating our LGBT+ and ally role models
While Pride marches couldn't take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, we still have reason to be proud as this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Lloyds Banking Group Rainbow Network.
We have also launched our 2020 LGBT+ and Ally Role Model list, which shines a light on our colleagues within the Group who have been nominated for their outstanding impact towards LGBT+ diversity and inclusion.
Rainbow is the Group’s professional network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) colleagues and anyone who wants to show their support by joining as an ally.
Over the last decade, we’ve made much needed progress towards LGBT+ equality as an organisation, creating an inclusive and open working environment for both our colleagues and customers and the Rainbow Network has played a pivotal role in our approach to this.
Finlay McFarlane, who works in our Retail Bank division features on our LGBT+ role model list.
Finlay has been recognised for the work he has done externally in helping to change the narrative around male survivors of sexual violence and other domestic crimes.
“I have been campaigning on this issue externally for around five years, waiving my own right to anonymity to tell my story in national media outlets and try and remove the illusion around male invulnerability and open up about the fact that men can experience mental health problems, experience assault, and be victims too. My campaigning resulted in Parliamentary motions in Westminster and Holyrood, which was a pretty huge moment for me, and last year I also received an Attitude Magazine Pride Award. "
Donna Chandler, who works in the Chief Information Office, features on our allies list.
Donna led a team who made it possible for a group of young Trans* and Non-Binary people aged between 12 and 19 to attend a prom, which is something many of them thought they’d never get to experience.
“Mermaids, a charity which supports young people and their families with gender identity issues, asked us if we could help a group of young Trans* and Non Binary people who didn’t have the opportunity to attend a prom or school disco due to not feeling comfortable.” explains Donna. “We knew immediately that we wanted to give these deserving young people a night to remember, where they would be truly able to be themselves and have a night of fun in a safe, welcoming environment.”
Rhys/Rose Venables, who works in Retail Bank division, features on our LGBT+ role models list.
Rhys/Rose has been recognised for the work they have done within the Group and in the wider community to raise awareness of the Non-Binary community.
“My proudest moment in supporting the LGBT+ community has been helping to raise awareness of the Non-Binary community and the challenges we face. Last year, I spoke on the panel at a Trans* Day of Remembrance event hosted by Rainbow in Chester. The event was open to the wider Chester community, with a number of external organisations attending.
Om Dhumatkar, who works in the Retail Bank division, features on our LGBT+ role models list.
Om shares what Bi Visibility Day means to him and talks about how he has been supporting the LGBT+ community. Om has been recognised for the work he has done in leading conversations around sexual identity, race and religion.
“Bi Visibility Day marks the end of Pride Season which begins in early Spring. This annual event commemorates the history of bi people and our contribution to the Pride movement.
Audrey Connolly works in our Customer Services team and has been involved in the Rainbow network for the last 10 years.
“I think I am most proud of the difference we’ve made to the wider LGBT+ community, through our charity partnerships – it is truly humbling to see the great work that is done through these initiatives and it’s amazing to be part of that positive impact.”
Tell us about the work you do with Rainbow?
“I am the co-chair of Rainbow and have been doing this for almost 10 years. I have worked with the most amazing group of enthusiastic volunteers and together we have pushed the boundaries and created a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all.”