Different but the same: Celebrating Pride Month 2022
At QinetiQ, we’re committed to creating a workplace where our differences are not only embraced but make us stronger; a place where we can connect with each other and benefit from varied experiences; and a place where everyone is included and can openly be their authentic self.
Our Inclusion 2025 Strategy supports us in achieving our ambition of creating a diverse workplace, where everyone is included and can openly be their authentic self. Our employee networks, and the allies that support them, are key to us accomplishing this. Included in our employee networks is JustLike-Q, a network for the LGBTQ+ community and part of its purpose is to:
- Promote diversity and inclusion (LGBTQ+ and the wider aspect of diversity and intersectionality) globally
- Encourage education and awareness across QinetiQ. Including unconscious bias, challenging bias in yourself and others, sharing knowledge, best practice and promoting the importance of Allies
- Support for colleagues with LGBTQ+-related matters
- Contribute and influence company policy for diversity and inclusion and wider, so that LGBTQ+ needs are taken into account
- Create a psychologically safe environment where we can all be our true selves at work
I am very proud to be the Chair for JustLike-Q and I strive to do what I can to help bring us all together. Before I was born, it was the norm to exclude people because they were believed to be in the LGBTQ+ community, to persecute them, and people in the community had very little in the way of rights or protections. Back in July 1972, the UK followed the example set by the US and held its first Pride event in London with approximately 2,000 participants. This year marks the 50th anniversary and nowadays it attracts over 30,000 participants and approximately 1.5 million people join in the celebrations in London. There are now roughly 150 Pride events around the UK and many, many more around the world. What I’d like in my lifetime is for inclusion to be the norm.
Pride month and its events are a celebration of how far we have come, a reminder of where we started and the drive for solidarity, visibility, unity and equality. Each Pride has its own theme in support of this aim, and there is also a WorldPride which occurs every two years. Next year, Sydney is the host and it’ll be the very first WorldPride in the southern hemisphere. Sydney will also celebrate the 50th Australian Gay Pride Week and the 45th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.
With many Pride events across the globe having been pushed back or cancelled over the last couple of years due to the pandemic, Pride Month 2022 celebrations give new impetus for making in-person connections. Let’s take this opportunity to be included and to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. As an example of how we’re marking Pride Month in the UK, this year JustLike-Q are holding a get together at our headquarters in Farnborough. Open to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, its allies or those just interested to know more, the event is to promote the importance of Pride month and encourage more people join the network and sign up as an ally. We’re also proud that, for the second year running, we are sporting a Rainbow logo on social media and flying the rainbow flag at our sites!
Alongside these events, we’ve also promoted practical tips for being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community as part of our Pride Month activities to help explain the importance of being an ally and how we can all support.
Together, we’re making QinetiQ a place where we can connect with each other and benefit from the experiences and thinking from people with varied backgrounds.Happy Pride Month everyone!