04 Jul 2018
Icon - Personal Growth
Sean Haley and Chris Bray holding hands

A time for allies to show themselves #PrideMatters

This post was written by Chris Bray, CEO for Sodexo Sports & Leisure UK & Ireland and executive sponsor for the Sodexo Pride UK & Ireland Network. 

This year Sodexo UK & Ireland will march in the Pride in London LGBT parade for the first time. Our participation is a demonstration of our alliances for solidarity. As a company Sodexo strives to make everyone’s quality of life better, including the people who work with us, the people we serve and people in the communities where we live and work. I believe that feeling free to be yourself is fundamental and improves your quality of life.

This year’s Pride In London commissioned a report on what matters to LGBT people, with the theme #PrideMatters. The findings of which are both concerning and enlightening, for instance 80% of LGBT people feel uncomfortable showing their partner affection in public and around 50% of gay men will not hold hands with their partner in public. Sadly this suggests that many LGBT people in our community don’t feel free to be themselves.

So as well as being a celebration, Pride in London (and other cities) is an important opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes and better understand their experiences. It is also a symbol of hope that as individuals and organisations we have the power to promote change and improve human rights.

I want Sodexo to lead by example, and as CEO of Sodexo’s Sports & Leisure business, I want everyone who works with us to feel safe in bringing their whole self to work. To mark Pride my colleague, Chairman of Sodexo UK & Ireland, and fellow ally, Sean Haley and I held hands as a sign of solidarity and support for colleagues who identify as LGBT. This is a movement started by our Sodexo Pride network during IDAHOBIT back in May.

I’d love to hear how others are marking pride and promoting change in their organisations and communities, whether that is by; turning the city rainbow coloured, holding hands with someone of the same sex or encouraging your organisation to get involved.

 

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