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6 months ago by Tom Perks

Five Thoughts on Flying the Flag with Pride

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Let me take you back to the summer of sixty-nine, a period frozen in time thanks to Bryan Adams and coincidently the birth of American rapper Ice Cube. Neil Armstrong took one small step for man (in a sound stage if you believe in conspiracy theories) and the LGBTQ+ community took one giant leap for mankind in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.  

On 28thJune 1969, The Stonewall Inn became the setting for the most important event in the movement for gay liberation, where the American LGBTQ+ community fought to change the anti-gay legislation that subjected them to punishment and persecution for simply being born this way (Gaga had to feature somewhere) - formally known as ‘The Stonewall Riots’. 50 years on, June has become ‘World Pride’ month, allowing all of us in the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate how far we have come in our fight for equality, and how far we still must go to simply be accepted. 

In my humble opinion, Neil Armstrong should have packed a pride flag…

This year, more than any other year we are seeing companies change their logos to encompass the colours of the Rainbow Flag, which has been the symbol of LGBTQ+ pride since the 1970s. This small act sends a positive message across the world of acceptance, tolerance and pride. People can love who they want, be who they want and portray themselves however they want without prejudice. If you, like Gleeson Recruitment Group haven’t changed your logo to encompass the bright, bold colours to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community, don’t fret; you aren’t homophobic, and I will tell you why…

Not editing your company’s logo to feature on social media, storefronts or on cute merchandise with #PRIDE does not mean that your organisation isn’t diverse, accepting or inclusive. The fight for equality is a daily fight, not just one lasting the month of June. 19% of the LGBTQ+ community still experience verbal bullying in the workplace, with 13% of those too scared to report the bullying to managers or colleagues. With derogatory words thrown around like glitter at a pride parade, it is no wonder that 26% of LGBTQ+ employees hide their true sexuality to co-workers. Companies have a responsibility to reduce this statistic, all year round. 

Is pride month a month of celebration or simply a widespread marking campaign enabling businesses to cash in on the pink pound?

Changing your company’s logo is not enough to call yourself a diverse and inclusive business. There, I said it! 

Gleeson Recruitment Group were recently asked what they were doing to become a diverse business, maybe this was off the back of our logo staying completely the same this month. Why hadn’t we jumped on the #PRIDE bandwagon? The answer is Gleeson Recruitment Group doesn’t need to become diverse and inclusive. Because darlings, Gleeson Recruitment Group was built on diversity and inclusion! 

Don’t be fooled by our three white, middle-aged directors who happen to all be men. One of them is Gay (I won’t tell you who, because it is much more fun to hear someone guess and get it wrong). Over the years, members of the LGBTQ+ community have continuously been part of our Gleeson family - taking on senior roles and promoting inclusion and acceptance within each of our teams. Working with inclusive, likeminded individuals has always been our aim and where possible we have passionately educated clients on hiring within the LGBTQ+ community. A rainbow flag logo (or lack thereof) does not paint the full picture.

We practice what we preach!

Along with the consistent promotion of the LGBTQ+ community, we actively encourage inclusion and acceptance regardless of race, religion, gender and socio-economic background within our business. 40% of our board are women; who are celebrated and paid the same as their male counterparts. We also have a strong ethnic mix that mirrors the demography we service. Judging a book by its cover is not our style and we encourage our clients and candidates to think the same. 

Is that diverse enough? No? Okay, I will keep on going…

Our workforce has a total age of… (I literally have no idea because does that even matter?) What I can say is that employees aged 18 are treated with the same level of respect and dignity as staff aged 30, 40 and 50. Age really is just a number! We once heard that our competitors said Gleeson Recruitment Group is where all the middle-aged recruiters go to end their days. All I can say is that if the afterlife provides a great working space, flexible working hours, no KPI’s and a fridge full of San Pellegrino, then heaven must be in Edmund House and you are all welcome to pass through the pearly gates! 

Not only do we encourage diversity and inclusion within our business and our clients’ businesses, we actively encourage those around us to live their best lives every single day. Only last week we made one of our staff member’s dreams come true! A lunchtime karaoke in our very own designated event space. 

‘What type of crazy business are you promoting here?’ I hear you cry…

One that embraces your inner child, one that builds your confidence to where you can sing Shania Twain full blast in front of the entire office on a Friday lunchtime, and quite simply one that will accept you and treat you like family regardless of race, religion, gender, disability and sexual orientation. 

In case you missed the point here, we are Gleeson Recruitment Group and diversity and inclusion is in our DNA.

Thank you, next!

Credit: Tom Perks


If working within an inclusive and diverse company is important to you, we'd love to hear from you. 


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