By Claire Skinner, Head of UK Fiduciary Content and Delivery and Global Co-Chair Mercer Pride LGBT+ Employee Network, Mercer
As the parent of a 15 year old, many of my experiences will be familiar to any women in the workplace 15 years ago who was trying to juggle childcare with a career, from expressing milk in the toilets to taking calls at play and stay. Thankfully my workplace now provides spaces for mothers to feed their babies and express milk, and flexible working much more accepted across genders.
There are also some experiences which are unique to be an LGBT+ parent. I have often been asked how I conceived and have also been told by (former) colleagues that they didn’t agree with LGBT+ parenting. I think such views would be challenged now, and we have explicit references to LGBT+ relating bullying and harassment just in case, as well as very visible senior role models and allies, including huge attendance at Pride events around the country (see photos).
I do think it is also important to remember that all minority groups do still experience negative comments and attitudes from time to time. My own local MP (before being deselected last year) stood up in the Houses of Parliament and supported protesters outside a primary school who did not want their children being taught about LGBT+ relationships. My child could have been in their class and that school, imagine how they would have felt.
My top tip for any LGBT+ parent – be open and honest with your child. My teenager hasn’t experienced any bullying because they are so secure in their own family, and all their friends are jealous at the ridiculous number of grandparents and hence birthday presents they get!
And for teenagers in general, try and find some fun you can do together – see photo!