Back in March iMultiply began our journey towards obtaining the LGBT Charter status as awarded by LGBT Youth Scotland
The aim of the Charter is help organisations proactively include LGBT people in every aspect of work, offering protection for people where needed and ensuring we provide a quality service to our customers.
There are many reasons why we chose to commit to obtaining the LGBT Charter. It would be dishonest to suggest that there weren’t any commercial considerations at play, we are a business and we want a slice of the ‘pink pound’, however, the main drivers in this reflect more of what we are as a company and speak to our values.
One of our three core values is Inclusion (alongside Innovation and Integrity) and this is not something we just pay lip-service to, we want to live and breath these values as an organisation. The iMultiply way has always been to ‘walk the walk if we talk the talk’.
The first step as an organisation was a day of training with Jane Griffin of LGBT Youth. Jane was great at creating a relaxed atmosphere where there were no stupid questions and everyone’s opinions were respected and listened to.
It is fair to say that for many of us this was a step into the unknown. As far as I know we are a pretty straight as an organisation so the subject matter was quite new to most of us and I’ll admit our knowledge was lacking in certain areas.
Jane was able to talk to us and teach us about the experiences and challenges people from the LGBT community face on a daily basis and what we can do to support people dealing with those challenges. She was also able to educate us about the different ways people identify themselves within the LGBT community, how people like to be addressed and the different strands of sexual orientation and gender identities that exist within the LGBT community.
We took part in some scenario-based roleplays which gave us an insight into some of the issues that could be faced by LGBT people and how to handle certain circumstances in a respectful and empathetic way. She also answered LOTS of questions.
The session was really informative and everyone who attended took a massive amount from it. Preconceptions were challenged and maybe some unconscious bias was highlighted. For me, the end result of the training was that we now have an organisation that is more educated about the LGBT community and we can be more effective allies in ensuring LGBT people are treated with the same respect and given the same opportunities as everyone else.
We are at the start of our journey, but it was a great start. The Charter is something we are committed to obtaining as we are to championing LGBT rights as an organisation.
More information about the LGBT charter can be found by visiting LGBT Youth Scotland .