Hi, I’m Amelia and I’m the Co-Chair of Respect, the Co-op’s LGBT+ network.
With this amazing weather continuing, this summer is all about spending time with friends in the sun, eating lots of ice cream and going to Pride.
This will be the sixth year I’ve walked with the Co-op in Manchester Pride, one of nine we’re supporting across the country. We’re expecting more than 500 colleagues to walk with us, with many more showing their support on social media using #prideincoop.
And it’s not only colleagues that are getting involved, over 50 of our stores and funeral homes will be getting special pride branding.
Why do we support Pride?
LGBT+ rights have come a long way in a short period of time, but being openly LGBT+ can still be really hard. Recent research done by Stonewall shows that one in six LGBT+ people in the UK have experienced a hate crime over the past year, with that figure rising for two in five for trans people.
Supporting Pride, as well as making our polices, processes, products and services as inclusive as they can be, shows LGBT+ colleagues that they can be themselves and build a career here. One of the reasons I joined the Co-op was because I’d seen them at Pride and knew they had an active LGBT+ network, and that gave me comfort that it’d be at a place where I could be happy.
What can you do to support?
Walk with us in Pride
We kicked off our pride season in Blackpool at the beginning of June, but there’s still plenty more opportunities for colleagues to get involved, so take a look at where we’ll be and sign up.
Our support for LGBT+ people is largely driven by our volunteer network, Respect. Anyone is welcome to join, whether they identify as LGBT+, or not. If you’re interested in finding out more, drop us an email.
Host an event
The Diversity & Inclusion team and Respect have also pulled together a toolkit for all colleagues who want to understand how they can support pride in their business areas. It includes ideas if you’re planning to run your own event, as well as top tips for colleagues that want to be a good ally.