7 June 2022 Company News, Employee Spotlight

Celebrating Pride 2022 with the launch of our LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group

To mark the 50th anniversary of Pride, we have arranged a number of very special LGBTQ+ initiatives for our employees to get involved with.

At SMS, our commitment to ‘Putting Our People First’ means that Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is an integral part of our company culture. As part of our annual programme of EDI initiatives – which sees us celebrating our differences as a group of employees – we are very proud yet again to promote Pride Month (1st June – 30th June) across our business. Festivities in 2022 represent a significant moment for the LGBTQ+ community, as we commemorate 50 years since the first Pride event took place in the United Kingdom.

What is Pride? 🏳️‍🌈

Pride Month celebrates LGBTQ+ people in all their diversity, raises awareness, and combats prejudice with education. Every year, during the month of June, the LGBTQ+ community and their allies come together to celebrate and recognise the influence LGBTQ+ people have had around the world. For LGBTQ+ people, Pride Month promotes their dignity, equal rights, self-affirmation and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues they face. What is SMS doing to celebrate Pride 2022?

LQBTQ+ Employee Resource Group launched 🌈

Following the launch of our first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) last year, we are now delighted to be opening our first Equality, Diversity & Inclusion-focused channel with the launch of the LGBTQ+ Community Group. The LGBTQ+ Group is a safe and inclusive environment that welcomes all employees, whether part of the LGBTQ+ community or a supporter and ally. It is a space where LGBTQ+ specific topics and news can be shared, and a place where colleagues can connect with other like-minded employees who share the same interests. Our LGBTQ+ Group adds to our growing collection of online and offline employee social groups, creating a community for LGBTQ+ within our business, which will be leveraged to help shape SMS’s future LGBTQ+ initiatives.

LQBTQ+ Employee Webinar Session 🌈

In partnership with Inclusive Employers, this June we have also organised a very special LGBTQ+ Awareness event, open to all employees, which will be delivered online as a webinar by gender identity and sexual orientation experts. The webinar will cover the topics of: What is gender? Why do we have a binary idea of gender? How did this develop and why? What it means to identify as trans What it means to identify outside of the binary or between the binary Gender expression Appropriate conversations Trans and non-binary people through history

Waving our rainbow flag in solidarity 🌈

For the whole month of June coinciding with Pride 2022, once again SMS will change our corporate logo colours across our online channels in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ movement. The colours of the rainbow reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender. Updated employee EDI form Our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) voluntary monitoring form for employees, launched in 2021, has additionally been updated. To ensure equality of opportunity, we have now added four socio-economic diversity questions to allow the business to (anonymously and confidentially) track and report on this data. This ultimately allows us to better understand what needs to be done to improve socio-economic diversity and identify and address any progression challenges. These questions were developed by the UK Government and updated by the Social Mobility Commission.

Other Pride educational resources 🌈

In addition to the above initiatives, throughout the month of June, our internal comms will be supplementing these activities with some online resources (sent via email to employees) to help spread awareness of Pride, with continued education vital to helping foster understanding of LGBQT+ culture and rights.