Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at SMS
Each June, the LGBTQ+ community comes together across the world to celebrate Pride, an event that you’ll notice we are supporting across our Group communications platforms this month.
This time of the year, therefore, could not present a more opportune time for SMS to reflect on our core company values – which underpin our culture as an organisation – as we look to further embed Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) across our workforce and wider communities.
That’s not to say EDI is not already an integral part of our culture. It most certainly is and has been since the very foundation of the Group 25 years ago, and indeed continues to be so as the business grows (we today employ more than 1,000 of people of all backgrounds, colours, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations).
Such cultural diversity is duly recognised by our Group Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy, a bespoke e-learning training module on EDI as part of our employee induction programme, and our membership of various accreditation bodies such as Disability Confident Employer, Mindful Employer, and the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion.
Better celebrating our differences
With the ever-increasing diversity of our business – and indeed of society as a whole – we have been increasingly keen to evolve our role in promoting EDI awareness from a place of ‘recognition’ to one of true ‘celebration’. And what better way to reflect this evolution than by updating our core values chosen by our employees?
Whilst EDI was already informally recognised by our ‘Pride’ value, last month we launched an employee engagement competition that asked our people to submit ideas for a new behaviour (which supplement our values) to bring EDI more formally to centre stage.
Last week – coinciding with the launch of this year’s LGBTQ+ Pride festivities – a winning entry was chosen, submitted by Nigel Gordon (Senior Bureau Manager), who came up with the phrase:
“We are all uniquely different, something we can celebrate together”
This phrase – shortened to “Celebrate our differences” – will now permanently sit as a behaviour under one of our 5 core values: “Pride”.
Living our values
As with all our core values (pictured below), they are defined by how we truly ‘live’ and practise them as a business in our everyday interactions. On this front, as part of our existing and ongoing commitment to EDI, SMS will be launching a number of new EDI initiatives over the coming months aimed at better celebrating our differences as employees, and ultimately creating a more inclusive workforce. We look forward to updating you on these exciting developments as and when they are launched.
Though a lot of the regular Pride parade festivities have again been cancelled this year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the celebrations continue in the digital space to keep people connected and celebrating diversity. You can learn how to get involved with Stonewall’s digital community programmes here. Also look out for content over the course of June that will spotlight how SMS employees within the LGBTQ+ community are celebrating Pride this year.