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Pride Month – A short introduction from Aquila’s EDI Group

This month is Pride Month.

At Aquila, we encourage a safe working environment so that everyone can embrace and be who they are. We are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Pride is all about promoting the equality, self-affirmation, and visibility of LGBTQ+ people, by creating a community and safe space for people to be who they are. The word ‘Pride’ was first used by Brenda Howard, the organiser of the first LGBTQ+ Pride March in the wake of the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969. ‘Pride’ is a term that has become meaningful to the community ever since. Pride is about encouraging people to speak up proudly and be proud of who they are.

Pride is so important because it continues to provide people with a community and a safe space to celebrate who they are. However, there is more progress to be made, and Pride is one of the ways we can draw attention to these issues that LGBTQ+ individuals experience.

More recently, the 2021 Census will be a historic moment for LGBTQ+ communities. For the first time, the Census includes two new voluntary questions on sexual orientation and trans status, as well as guidance on how to answer the Census sex question. This will give us an accurate picture of the size of the LGBTQ+ population in Britain which is a huge steppingstone.

The number of people who identify as LGBTQ+ is increasing
  • The proportion of the UK population aged 16 years and over identifying as heterosexual or straight decreased from 94.6% in 2018 to 93.7% in 2019.
  • An estimated 2.7% of the UK population aged 16 years and over identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2019, an increase from 2.2% in 2018.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, the number of men identifying as LGB increased from 2.5% to 2.9% and women identifying as LGB increased from 2.0% to 2.5%.
  • Younger people (aged 16 to 24 years) were most likely to identify as LGB in 2019 (6.6% of all 16 to 24 year olds, an increase from 4.4% in 2018); older people (aged 65 years and over) also showed an increase in those identifying as LGB, from 0.7% to 1.0% of this age category.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, the proportion of people who identified as LGB increased for England (2.7%, up from 2.3%) and Scotland (2.7%, up from 2.0%), however Wales (2.9%) and Northern Ireland (1.3%) remained stable; among English regions, people in London were most likely to identify as LGB (3.8%, an increase from 2.8%).

Source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/sexuality/bulletins/sexualidentityuk/2019

There is still more to be done

Identifying as LGBTQ+ can be extremely challenging. While these statistics are from the US, they demonstrate the importance of this month to support LGBTQ+ people:

  • 52% – the percentage of LGBTQ people who’ve experienced depression recently.
  • 1 in 8 – the number of LGBTQ people who have experienced unequal treatment from healthcare staff.
  • 46% – the percentage of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who are open about their sexual orientation with their family.
  • 4.1% – the estimated percentage of women who identify as LGBT.
  • 350,000 – the number of people in the LGBTQ community that are transgender women.
  • 1 in 5 – the number of LGBTQ women living in poverty.
  • 43% – the percentage of LGBTQ employees who haven’t revealed their orientation at work.
  • 50% – the percentage of LGBTQ workers who recently got federal protection from discrimination.
  • 10% – the amount of time LGBT workers spend hiding their identities.

Source: https://nationaltoday.com/pride-month/

We all have a part to play

Everyone has the power to support an inclusive and equal working community. The EDI group works to reinforce this. Getting to know your staff will help ensure you effectively cater to any needs LGBTQ+ employees may have.

A company that can pledge its support to employees irrespective of their skin colour, gender or sexuality stands to benefit hugely by creating a sense of empowerment among employees.

Aquila’s EDI Group vision supports this:

“At Aquila, our greatest strength is you. You help us build a culture where everyone feels included, harness the power of diversity at all levels and keep fairness at the heart of what we do.”

Aquila’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group Vision

Aquila’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Group works to raise awareness of notable calendar dates which relate directly to Equality, Diversity or Inclusion. Aquila EDI Group Terms of Reference can be viewed on this link. If you would like more information on the work of Aquila’s EDI Group, please contact us at info@aquilaservicesgrp.co.uk

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