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Woke Yolk? Pride 2021 and onwards...

Image 2021 06 24 T13 49 15


​Looking back on Pride month, and among the sea of rainbow logos across social media, we had to ask ourselves, “what are we really doing for Pride?

By creating a rainbow logo does that make us ‘woke’? Dare we say it, are we ‘Woke Yolk’?

In fact, we were a perpetrator of joining the corporate sea of rainbow logos, and it was a client who questioned us with “what are you really doing?” We had an internal event with donation plans for LGBTCymru, but what extra initiatives were we doing to educate internally and externally?

After speaking to the client who raised the initial question and asking them how best we can get involved, we’ve spent the last few weeks of Pride planning and looking ahead to the months beyond June’s Pride festivities and addressing what we can do better all year round.

But first, some important and sobering statistics regarding LGBTQ+ employees in the UK and the discrimination faced. The following statistics are taken from Stonewall’s YouGov report which you can access here.

  • Almost one in five LGBT staff (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they're LGBT.

  • One in eight trans people (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans.

  • One in ten black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT staff (10 per cent) have similarly been physically attacked because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, compared to three per cent of white LGBT staff.

  • Almost one in five LGBT people (18 per cent) who were looking for work said they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity while trying to get a job in the last year.

  • One in eight black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees (12 per cent) have lost a job in the last year because of being LGBT, compared to four per cent of white LGBT staff.

  • Almost two in five bi people (38 per cent) aren’t out to anyone at work about their sexual orientation.

  • More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination.

  • One in eight lesbian, gay and bi people (12 per cent) wouldn’t feel confident reporting any homophobic or biphobic bullying to their employer. One in five trans people (21 per cent) wouldn’t report transphobic bullying in the workplace.

  • Almost a third of non-binary people (31 per cent) and one in five trans people (18 per cent) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.

​From June and onwards, Yolk Recruitment will be building LGBTQ+ education into our plans and we are currently developing a new HR Insights session alongside Refreshing Law Ltd to raise awareness and to help inform HR professionals (and anyone in a similar workforce management role) of inclusive programmes they can implement within their business.

Following the event, we also plan to share guidance on the topic and will be developing a number of podcast episodes dedicated to the topic. These will be published over the coming months.

While we’re aware we can’t solve the problem, we are hoping the impact this information has on individual situations will make a difference. Whether that’s ensuring our internal staff are better informed, a team member feels like they can be themselves in work, or that clients have a clearer understanding of what their business should be implementing.

Following this, we will also be interviewing a few prominent names in the HR field in South Wales who are also members of the LGBTQ+ community. We are dedicating our next Diversity Champions podcast episode to all things LGBTQ+ and will be interviewing a close Yolk friend who is part of this community. They will be talking to us about their career, discrimination, how attitudes have changed as well as discussing ways in which we can all improve the workplace for those that identify as LGBTQ+. Their last role was HR Director for a well-known Welsh brand, so watch this space!

We can confirm this month’s Pride has been a wake up call to us as to what we can do better; our mantra at Yolk is Bright, Bold, Better after all. So while it’s probably still too early to coin the phrase ‘Woke Yolk’, we’re hoping these plans we have been working on help to do their bit this Pride and onwards.

What we’re planning:

  • Due to the lack of a pride festival later this year (Covid restrictions), we decided to bring the rainbow flag to us, (photo evidence above!) as Yolk Folk dressed in rainbow colours as part of an internal fundraising activity this month. We plan to donate all the money fundraised from our ‘all the colours of the rainbow’ day in work to

  • We have been sharing resources and helpful advice via Yolk’s HR to our internal teams on how they can support Pride locally (see below)

  • We have confirmed that our next HR Insights webinar will take place in September and it will focus upon LBGQT+ employees and how HR teams can ensure everyone is able to be their most authentic self in work

  • Following the webinar, we’ll be publishing guidance in partnership with Refreshing Law Ltd on this topic

  • New Diversity Champions podcast episodes speaking to a friend from within the LGBTQ+ community about their views and experiences

  • We’re currently looking into sponsorship for the jobs with the LGBTQymru magazine

  • We’re soon to be unveiling our new gender-neutral bathroom facilities at Yolk

Supporting Pride locally:

  1. Queer Emporium (you can find at 2-4 Royal Arcade) is a store that recently opened for Pride. They support and supply the goods of over 15 LGBTQ+ independent businesses, selling a range of items from artisan candles, to cakes, plants, jewellery, books, wine and much more.

  2. Queer Emporium will be hosting a series of events in the Royal Arcade, including live comedy nights and workshops so keep an eye on their social media’s and get down there asap!

  3. - LGBTCymru provide general information, advice and confidential support in many areas of life and various issues that LGBT people, their family, and friends may experience. Their qualified staff and trained volunteers are happy to help with all LGBT matters! You don't have to be a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans+ to call them. If you have questions or concerns about a child, parent, sibling, or you may even wish to ​talk about a friend, partner or spouse.

Useful resources:

Stonewall Cymru Report, 2018


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