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Georgie opens up on being out in the workplace for #biweek

Interview of Georgie Court, Graduate recruitment specialist at Clifford Chance in London, for #biweek

Which letter of the LGBTQI do you identify as and why? Queer. To me queer is an umbrella term that means 'something other than heterosexual' and that definitely best represents me. My sexuality is fluid and changes regularly so Queer is a good title to encompass all that.


Have you always been out at university and in the workplace? Have you ever felt a lack of inclusion with your previous employers? I wasn’t out at university, but I have always been out in the workplace. I've never felt a lack of inclusion. However, it’s the small things that sometimes stand out. For example, when colleagues automatically assume that you are dating someone of the opposite sex when they ask about your partner.


Tell us about your coming(s) out? Do you have any good or bad memory you would like to share? My coming out was super easy – I was honest about being pansexual/bi-sexual way before I started dating a girl.


What is your role at Arcus, Clifford Chance’s LGBT+ employee network? I am still new at Clifford Chance but my role will be to help give a more female-focused approach and perspective to some of the initiatives we do! As commonly seen, the LGBT+ community at the firm seems to be quite well represented by the G but not as much by the L or the B and I would like to try and improve this!


It is #biweek, what would you like to say to Bi people that are not out yet? I think with bi people there is always a real feeling around lack of identity and community. This is because if your partner is someone of the same sex, people assume you are gay and if you are dating someone of the opposite sex, people assume you are straight. I would say to all bi people that they are enough and they are valid. I don’t believe in pressuring or encouraging people to come out if they aren’t ready, but I would say to them to try and at least be honest with themselves.


How do you think we can tackle Bi-erasure within the LGBT+ community? BiVisibility day is important! Role models are important! And most importantly straight AND gay people should definitely try and make a conscious effort to think twice before they make assumptions.


A recent survey polled more than 1,000 people between ages 13 and 26 in the U.S. and UK, finding 57% of respondents said they don't fit into the traditional definition of heterosexuality. Do you think LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace is vital for organisation if they want to retain the best talent? How do you think Clifford Chance is achieving this? With 57% of young people citing themselves as 'something other than heterosexual', not including LGBT+ people in our workplaces just isn’t an option anymore. We are everywhere – if companies and firms aren’t trying hard to create LGBT+ friendly policies and safe workspaces, they will lose us and miss out on some of the best talents out there!


Clifford Chance are taking some great steps forward to make sure LGBT+ young people know that they would be welcomed at a career in the business. For example, this year we are running our first ever ACCEPT conference – an opportunity for LGBT students interested in a career in law to hear from senior role models and understand why it's important to bring your full and authentic self to work each day.


Tell us a bit about your personal life. Are you with anyone at the moment and how does your partner support you and your engagement towards the LGBT+ community? Whatever the gender of the partner I am with; they have always been incredibly supportive of my bisexuality and encouraged me to be myself, in and out of the workplace.



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