Inclusivity for a diverse workforce

By Emily McEvoy, Talent Acquisistion Assistant

I am a lesbian woman in her 20s but my sexuality isn’t something I really think about so much these days, it is completely natural to me.

I feel eternally grateful to those before me who fought for our rights as LGBT people and paved the way for me to be able to experience a normal life and I am deeply aware of the many LGBT people around the world that aren’t so fortunate to have these rights and safety.

Though it has certainly given me some extra challenges in life, now I don’t feel different and rarely experience any problems related to my sexuality.

I feel proud to be who I am and comfortable in my own skin. Something I never thought would be possible when I was younger, I now have a wonderful partner we’ve been together over six years, we share our home, have a dog, love to travel and we are planning to get married soon.

Working in an inclusive organisation that has staff groups and values which support equality and diversity means a lot to me it takes away any anxiety of ‘coming out’ again at work and removes potential barriers to progression and development in my professional life.

It was partly what drew me to Riverside as an employer when I was a project assistant many years ago. It was then I first got involved with Spectrum and made me want to return to Riverside years later when I re-joined as a Recruiter in the Talent Team.

The small things like teams taking part in Pride activities, the LGBT-friendly policies and training and LGBT members of the Leadership Team being visible make a massive difference and wasn’t something I had ever experienced with previous employers.

This weekend at a friend’s birthday party I was reminded of how often I have to ‘come out’ to new people I meet which can often cause a bit of an awkward moment.

Not looking ‘stereotypically gay’ – whatever that means – people often use he/him when asking about my partner.

I haven’t really had to correct anyone at work but it was a reminder that small things like not presuming the gender of people’s partners or people’s own pronouns can create a more positive safe space and is something I would recommend about when interviewing or meeting new people at Riverside.

There is a document available to support hiring managers in creating an inclusive space when interviewing candidates. If there is anything you are unsure about or would like to refresh read through it and feel free to contact me with any questions.

First impressions count and you never know, it might just be the reason someone joins Riverside.