This year, on the 50thanniversary of Stonewall, Santander’s employee-led LGBT+ and allies network [Embrace] has been more active than ever, ensuring Pride is recognised and celebrated throughout the communities Santander serves.
Officially we have attended 16 Prides, with more colleagues choosing to get involved in other events where they work and live to which we have had an overwhelming positive response from customers and the general public alike.
We believe that it is more important than ever to demonstrate our commitment to everyday inclusion, which is why in addition to attending many established Prides such as London, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester, we also wanted to reach out to a wider network by supporting smaller, less established Prides such as Dundee, Hull, Huddersfield and Worthing. This has been welcomed by our colleagues within these areas but also the diverse and sometimes overlooked communities of such towns and cities.
With some of our colleagues attending a Pride event for the first time this year, and not yet feeling able to have ‘come out’ within their personal lives, our commitment to supporting PRIDE events has enabled them to take the first steps of bringing their whole self to work. We are proud that colleagues feel comfortable to do so, which is quite a reversal from the past when many LGBT+ workers may have remained in the ‘closet’ at work due to the perceived negative impact it could have caused to their career.
This year we are the headline sponsors for Pride:MKin Milton Keynes, re-enforcing our ongoing commitment to the town, linking with our recent investment in planning for a new state of the art Head Office building and our continuous support of higher education through our involvement with MKU, the UK's first university focused on digital skills.
“I have been attending Pride marches for over 30 years and have seen them change from demonstrations to celebrations. When we look at the current climate, especially the rise in homo, bi and trans phobia being reported in the media, I feel that Pride events are still as relevant to when I first started attending them. I am so proud that Santander is committed to supporting the LGBT+ community by taking part in so many Pride events!
Darren Kerrison – Co-Chair Embrace Network.
Follow #SantanderSupportsPride to see our activity on social media.
Paula Kemp, D&I Lead, Santander UK