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LGBT History Month

27/02/2024

Stephanie Todd, Chair of InFuse employee network reflects on why it’s important that we shine a light on LGBT+ History Month.

In 2015, the United Kingdom was ranked as the most LGBT+-friendly country in Europe. Today, it has dropped to 17th. In fact, the Home Office found in 2022, hate crimes due to sexual orientation increased by 41 per cent, and in 2023, hate crimes towards transgender people increased by 11 per cent.

As LGBT History Month comes to a close, it is important that we don’t take the long and hard-fought for progress that’s been won for the LGBT+ community for granted in an ever-changing world.

It is also more important than ever that businesses like ScottishPower continue to champion the diversity of its employees and focus on transformative and progressive strategies when it comes to creating a workplace that has equity and inclusion at its core.

For those who identify as LGBT+, the workplace should not be a source of anxiety, and businesses have a responsibility to foster a culture of real inclusivity with the many benefits that provides them, including happier and higher-performing teams.

Companies looking to attract and retain talent, improve workplace satisfaction, and enhance their reputation really should be creating fully inclusive workplaces as standard practice.

Launched in 2004, LGBT History Month set out to reclaim the rich and diverse past of a community that had felt like it had to be hidden, to celebrate the present and to focus on supporting a better, more inclusive future.

ScottishPower In-Fuse take part in the 2023 pride rally

It was created following the repeal of Section 28, a law passed in 1988 by the government that banned councils and schools "promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality”.

That law wasn’t repealed in Scotland until 2000 and the rest of the UK until 2003.

Since then, the UK has become much more progressive when it comes to equal rights than many other countries around the world, but it’s clear there’s still a way to go.

ScottishPower already rightly believes that teams with greater diversity and inclusive leadership can offer much higher levels of innovation, creativity and success for both business and society as a whole.

Embracing LGBT History Month at ScottishPower is not just a symbolic gesture, it is a commitment to continuing to create a more inclusive, innovative and supportive workplace for over 6,000 employees across the UK.

As chair of the company’s employee-led LGBT employee network – the voice of our community and its allies within ScottishPower – I’m proud to work for a company that’s embracing diversity and inclusion and values the contribution of all of our employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

This is already resulting in the creation of an environment where everyone hopefully feels more comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work and is generating direct benefits for both them and the business.

The journey towards LGBT+ inclusion may not be complete and still needs our collective, continuous efforts and dedication, but ­­at ScottishPower, its LGBT+ community is working hand-in-hand-with the business to deliver a better future.

ScottishPower In-Fuse take part in the 2023 pride rally

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