This month is LGBT Pride Month.
Traditionally, PRIDE is connected to the support and promotion of those LGBT members in our society. Last night Parental Choice attended a PRIDE event run with pride (excuse the pun!) by one of our clients Taylor Wessing.
It was a great event and all credit should go to Dan Harris and his team for organising the event. Further kudos should go to Shane Gleghorn, the managing partner and his team for embracing and supporting all those within Taylor Wessing who are LGBT. Ten years ago when I was working in the City support of those who were ‘different’ in our society was barely considered, let alone fully encouraged.
In 2017, the UK marked the 50-year anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, decriminalising homosexuality in the UK. Last night I met two ladies from a great charity called Opening Doors London. This charity is dedicated to supporting people aged 50 and above who are LGBT. Homophobia is still prevalent amongst many, especially those in the older generation and the effort and strength those older LGBT people must have in order to stand proud of who they are is to be greatly admired. Society has come a long way in the last 50 years, but for those growing up in the 50s and 60s when homosexuality was still a criminal offence, their journey to be proud of who they are must not be underestimated.
Taylor Wessing should be justifiably proud of what they have achieved, but the event and the people I met there gave me further food for thought. Each one of us, whether L,G,B or T, B, A or ME, male or female should feel pride in ourselves.
You may not believe it but each one of us, each day, does something we should feel proud of. Whether it is getting the children to school on time, managing life with a disability or just getting out of bed when suffering from depression. Life today is so full of pressure and stress that just juggling a career and a life, whether you have children or not can be hard.
Earlier this month I was shortlisted for the for the WeAreTheCity Rising Star Award. This award recognises a senior individual of any gender who is championing gender equality either inside or outside their organisation. Although when I learned that I had been shortlisted I was really pleased, I have to admit to not thinking much further about it. After all I am placed among some incredibly impressive women (how on earth would I have a chance of winning?!).
I definitely have a touch of impostor syndrome.
But, I met a truly thought-provoking lady last night (Kelly Canterford take a bow!). She made me stop and think.
Kelly, who I had only just met, made me look at what I have built-up over the past eight years, the team of amazing women I work with (who I insist work flexibly over 3/4 days), the working women I have helped juggle career and family, the role model I am being to my two girls. I may not think I am up to much, but she made me feel proud of what I have achieved.
We sometimes forget that we have all come a long way. So, whether it is Taylor Wessing and their excellent support and recognition of the LGBT community, Opening Doors London helping older LGBT members feel pride in themselves; a parent juggling career and childcare or someone struggling with mental health issues, we should all feel pride in ourselves for what we achieve everyday…
Sarah-Jane Butler is founder and CEO of Parental Choice. A former lawyer, she set up her business in recognition of the lack of logistical, useful support she encountered when returning to work after her daughter was born. Eight years on and Parental Choice is helping a wide range of clients provide services to working families to make their lives easier and help them have a career happy and stress-free.
Parental Choice and D&I
Parental Choice work closely with D&I teams and internal networks to deliver wellbeing programmes to employees. Over the years we have seen the subjects we talk about become broader as businesses look to support the wellbeing of all their employees, not just working parents.
We are delighted to have launched new talks on LGBTQ+ parenting, the menopause, men’s health (physical and mental), elder care, adoption, fostering and IVF. These are all complementary to our core programme of talks aimed at helping parents at all stages of their children’s lives.
To see how Parental Choice can help make a difference for your employees please get in touch on 020 8979 6453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org