David Betty is the Area Director for Branch Interactions Santander in the North and looks after all of our Branch colleagues and customers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.
What is your experience of being an ally to the LGBT+ community?
It has been hugely positive and very easy! I think it’s important for allies to be aware you don’t have to have lots and lots of time. Supporting at key events such as Pride can have a significant impact across the team and your organization. I have always involved my wife and kids and it has helped my children be welcoming and accepting of diversity, and my daughter is an ally herself in school.
David, his Wife Vikki, his Daughter Arianna and his son David (Wee DB) and
Jack, Arianna’s friend from school at his first-ever Pride!
How, when and why did you decide to be an LGBT+ ally?
The main reason I wanted to become an ally was after I was chatting to a friend who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and she had been supporting young people through counselling. With the problems these kids were experiencing right at the start of their adult lives, I knew I wanted to be a voice for inclusion and diversity at Santander. If people are able to be themselves in work and celebrate who they are, life becomes so much better and the business really benefits.
How does your organisation facilitate the inclusion of allies with your LGBT+ network?
At Santander we have fantastic colleague Networks of which Embrace is one. Through Embrace I have personally learned so much more of LGBTQ+ history and the struggle for equality as well as hearing some truly inspirational stories from colleagues…and attended some great events!
Have you been involved in any activities with your organisation’s LGBT+ network, which ones? Do you march at Pride?
As above, my family and I march every year at Pride, it is always a humbling and amazing experience.
How can allies help create an inclusive workplace?
Speak up and challenge inequality and poor behaviour, be vocal about diversity and most importantly create a positive and welcoming environment where everyone can be themselves and be proud of who they are. Lead by example in your behaviours and communications.
What makes an organisation inclusive for you?
It’s a place that values the diverse backgrounds of all of its colleagues and most importantly demonstrates and understands these values make a business stronger and a great place to work and delivers a great experience for customers.
Can you give us an example of a time you were a vocal ally outside the workplace?
Sadly too often! My view is where I see poor behaviours it’s important to challenge and speak up! Through education and helping people see things from the right point of view, we can achieve great outcomes.