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LGBT+ History Month – Events in FM

LGBT+ History Month – Events in FM
17 February 2021
 

This month, organisations and individuals from the facilities management industry have planned several educational and celebratory events to mark LGBT+ History Month 2021.

LGBT+ History Month is a registered charity that seeks to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their history, lives and their experiences. This year’s theme is “Body, Mind, Spirit”.

A large part of this remit involves the workplace, working to make sure employers are equipped to enable LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential. 

According to CIPD research, LGBT+ employees are more likely to experience workplace conflict and harassment than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. 40 per cent of LGB+ workers and 55 per cent of trans workers have experienced such conflict, compared with 29 per cent of heterosexual, cisgender employees.

In addition, a higher proportion of LGBT+ workers (16 per cent) feel psychologically unsafe in the workplace compared with heterosexual workers (10 per cent), while for trans workers, this figure is even higher at 18 per cent.

As Colin Kimber, Associate Director at Pareto FM and part of the LGBT+ in FM leadership committee told us in 2020, facilities management as an industry is well-placed to promote such important issues:

“FM teams have got relationships throughout organisations at all levels, so the potential to make their influence felt is quite immense.”

 

“The theme of LGBT+ History Month this year is, Body, Mind, Spirit - this is such an apt theme considering the circumstances we are all facing with many people feeling isolated and vulnerable. Concerns of our physical and mental wellbeing are at the forefront of our minds and we are all acutely aware of our own mortality and quality of life becomes ever more important.

–Brendan Seymour

Construction Director, BBVS JV 

Here are some of the events planned by the facilities management community to celebrate LGBT+ History Month:

 

LGBT+inFM Lesson & Learn

 

Join the LGBT+ in Facilities Management ground for their online LGBT+ History Month event, where they will be joined by Bianca Hermansen and Simon Croft, focussing on the question: “what about the +?". Hermansen’s section will be hosted by Samantha West from Vinci Facilities.

Free tickets are available here.

 

Pareto FM  LGBT+ Top Trumps

 

To celebrate LGBT+ history month Pareto will be launching a series of top trumps giving information of iconic people who made history within the LGBT+ community:

 

Michael Sam top trump

 

Christine Jorgensen top trump

Picture: two top trumps graphics telling the stories of Michael Sam and Christine Jorgenson

 

Sodexo’s Pride UK & Ireland Network 

 

During LGBT+ History Month, Sodexo’s Pride UK & Ireland network have released a series of communications both to their network members and wider business. 

Executive sponsor Chris Bray tells us why he continues to support the organisation:

“February is LGBT+ History Month and so it’s also now our sixth anniversary of the Sodexo Pride UK & Ireland Network.  I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved over the years but now more than ever we need to look after each other. This year’s theme is ‘Body, Mind and Spirit,’ which relates to how tough the last 12 months have been for everyone, but in the LGBT+ community where depression is as high as 50 per cent on a ‘good’ year  (Stonewall survey 2018) we need to make sure we’re looking out for our LGBT+ colleagues."

As LGBT+ History Month is a time to reflect on the past, Pride UK & Ireland also running a webinar on the effects that our formative school years have had on all of us. During the years of 1988 to 2003, due to legislation called Section 28 it was effectively illegal to educate pupils about anything LGBT+. What impact did that make on the generations that lived through it, LGBT+ or not? And what about the generations that have come after?

 

BBVS JV – Body, Mind, Spirit

 

Brendan Seymour, Construction Director at BBVS JV describes their LGBT+ History Month event, and his experience as Executive Sponsor for LGBT+ inclusion within the BBVS JV project:

“During February, organisations and individuals up and down the country are marking LGBT+ History Month through seminars, exhibitions, quizzes, films, etc. These varied activities provide an opportunity for people to celebrate the achievements of the LGBT+ community and to reflect on the journey towards equality.

“Whilst there have been some successes, we still have a long way to go. During National Inclusion Week last year, I listened to two inspirational women from our parent companies (BB and Vinci) sharing their personal stories as trans women. Amanda McKay and Sam West spoke to us about the challenges within the workplace as they transitioned and their incredible achievements within male-dominated environments. More importantly, their ability to reconcile their identities in their personal lives and to gain acceptance so that they could truly be themselves at work and at home.

“These two women have inspired me to assume the role of Executive Sponsor for LGBT+ inclusion within our project. I believe that if we are to be truly inclusive, our people must be able to bring their whole selves to work.

“The theme of LGBT+ History Month this year is, Body, Mind, Spirit - this is such an apt theme considering the circumstances we are all facing with many people feeling isolated and vulnerable. Concerns of our physical and mental wellbeing are at the forefront of our minds and we are all acutely aware of our own mortality and quality of life becomes ever more important.

“I feel privileged to welcome the founder of LGBT+ History Month to our project as our keynote speaker on Monday 22 February. Sue Sanders and the late Paul Patrick founded LGBT+ History Month fifteen years ago and in Sue’s words, they wanted to, “open the door for all of us to educate out prejudice and make LGBT+ people visible in all their diversity”. Sue has dedicated her life to championing LGBT+ inclusion and equality and her work has been recognised with her being awarded an Emeritus Professorship from the Harvey Milk School (2015), and in 2019 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rainbow Honours Board.

“I am keen to learn more from Sue and others so that I can champion this agenda effectively and work with colleagues in creating an inclusive workplace for all of our people.

“Please do join me on this journey by attending our virtual zoom meeting on Monday 22 February at 1.00 p.m.

 

JLL - Building Pride Event

 

To celebrate LGBT+ History Month in February, JLL's Building Pride Network is inviting their staff to an online social event, Bingo Bangerz. This is completely free and open to all JLL staff, not only those who identify as LGBT+.

Building Pride UK was formed in 2014 following a chance meeting of five JLL staff at a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) property networking event. Surprised, but pleased to discover that there were other LGBT staff within JLL, the group took a photo and sent it off to Roll on Friday. The story made the top headline and followed with huge support from Guy Grainger. Building Pride was then formed; welcoming all staff, LGBT and allies, to join in their mission.

Picture: a photograph of the Pride flag

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 February 2021

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