Posted on: 08/06/2022
It is the start of Pride month and time for all to celebrate a colourful and diverse society! In the second blog of our #SmartestBalance series, Kieran Williams, Metering Team Leader and member of our Diverse Genders and Sexualities (DSG) community group, shares why it's important to celebrate Pride as an organisation, placing inclusion and diversity at the heart of our strategic SmartestBalance initiative.
Pride is about celebrating diversity, love and acceptance and at SmartestEnergy, we are driven toward creating a welcoming, open and diverse community. 'One team. One future.' is one of our core company values, and with our SmartestBalance initiative, we are focused on building an accepting and enjoyable workplace for all. To be a successful team, it is important to ensure everyone feels included and accepted, no matter their heritage or sexuality.
Pride month is an annual LGBTQ+ celebration where people join together to celebrate the history of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies through events such as parades and festivals. Pride has been around since 1970 and the month was first recognised by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019. Pride month is an opportunity to celebrate the past, how far we've come as a society, and where we're heading next in terms of tolerance and acceptance.
Let's go back in time...
- In 1967, parliament passed the Sexual Offences Act, decriminalising homosexual activity in private between men over 21 years old.
- The following year saw the birth of Gay Newsmedia, which would later become known as Pink News
- In 1981, lesbian and gay rights groups organised London's first-ever Pride march.
- Four years later, Margaret Thatcher's government officially recognised that individuals were persecuted because of their sexuality by passing Section 28, banning schools from 'the promotion' of homosexuality or any other lifestyle choice deemed 'pretended family relationship' which was later repealed in 2003 by Tony Blair's Labour Party.
- In 1994 came another milestone, the Gender Recognition Act, which allowed those who identify as transgender or non-binary to have their gender formally recognised without undergoing surgery – an important step towards equality for all genders.
- In 2004 came civil partnerships between same-sex couples
- Five years later, we saw The Civil Partnership Act 2013, which legally recognised same-sex relationships but did not allow for religious ceremonies such as weddings.
- In June 2014, Queen Elizabeth II gave her consent for same-sex marriages from March 29th 2013 onwards.
After the decades-long battle for acceptance, it is crucial that we continue to do our part to support the journey to equality, diversity and inclusion. For many people in the LGBTQ+ community, it can feel daunting to express yourself for fear of feeling unseen or misunderstood due to preconceived stereotypes or not knowing who you can reach out to. This is why I wanted to be a part of SmartestBalance and a member of our DSG community group, to provide support and become a part of something bigger.
A welcoming and validating culture is essential in the workplace, and it's important to highlight that despite our differences, we are all a part of one team. Through SmartestBalance, we are keen to continue driving change, acceptance and celebrating diversity.
Enter our Pride competition to win £100 Amazon Gift voucher!
We want to see how you’re celebrating Pride and what it means to you and we’ll be giving away £100 Amazon Gift Voucher to the winning entry. Whether you’re celebrating Pride at work, at University, at home or at school please share a photo on social media (Twitter or LinkedIn) using the hashtag #SmartestEnergyPrideCompetition
Be bold and show us what Pride means to you, whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally showing your support and love through your pictures!
To enter, please complete the following steps:
- Show us how you’re celebrating Pride and what it means to you by submitting a photo of your celebrations. Be bold, Colourful and Creative and demonstrate your support and love through your photo entry.
- Submit your photo to [email protected] or post it on Twitter or LinkedIn tagging #SmartestEnergyPrideCompetition
- Submit your entry by 17:00 on Friday 24th June 2022
- Our judging panel will select the winning entry when the competition closes and announce the winners via social media at midday on the 30th June.
Terms & Conditions of Entry
In submitting an entry, the entrant will grant SmartestEnergy the permission to use the photo provided for promotional purposes in relation to the competition.
If you have any related questions, please contact: [email protected]