The LGBTQIA+ Pillar of the Egress Culture Club has had a busy but incredibly rewarding 2022 that we’re looking forward to building on in 2023. We wanted to share some of our many 2022 highlights:
London Pride 2022
Members of the London office at London Pride
Pride is an amazing event, that Egress is proud to have been part of. A few of us from the Egress London office attended the Pride in London parade in July last year to show our support as members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. With our Egress Pride-branded T-shirts, we headed for a pre-Pride picnic in St James’ Park before watching the parade to wave our flags and show our support.
For some attendees, it was their first time, and it was great to capture their reactions from the experience. Ariane Bestel, Renewals Manager, (pictured on the far right) said: “Pride was like nothing I could have expected. Seeing it on social media you only get a glimpse of the grand scale of the event, thousands of people, a ginormous row of floats, and all the variety of those attending. Being surrounded by beautiful, passionate people, fighting for love and acceptance, was a moment I was honoured to be a part of. The greatest thing I experienced having visited for the first time this year, was realising everyone has somewhere or someone to belong to, you just have to reach out and look: whether it’s playing rugby with 7ft tall giants, riding motorcycles with 80-year-old dames, building charities and communities, or just finding your troop (or literally army troops!). I hope to see many more of us next year, forming our own colourful Egress coat of arms!”
We’re looking forward to attending London Pride 2023!
Puddings for Pride
Puddings for Pride in London
On June 16 we organised a bake sale in our London and Sheffield offices. Dubbed “Puddings for Pride,” we encouraged people to bring in a home-made dessert and collected donations for a plate or slice. We set ourselves a company-wide target of £300 which we aimed to be split evenly between the three charities we were supporting during Pride month.
Rainbow cake at Puddings for Pride in Sheffield
The response was truly incredible! Not only did lots of people contribute to the baked goods across both offices, but we were absolutely blown away to find at end of the day we had raised a total of £616 – 205% of our initial target!
Sheffield's Puddings for Pride spread
Pride at Egress roundtable
In August, we hosted a roundtable session to celebrate Pride at Egress. We were fortunate enough to have Lena Hall – an acclaimed performer known for her appearances in Snowpiercer, Girls, and Becks – as our special guest.
The roundtable was an open discussion that everyone in the organisation could tune into, and we tackled questions like:
- How did going to a Pride event make you feel?
- Do you think Pride events are still necessary? If so, why?
- What does it mean to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and to be an ally?
- How are attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community changing and what changes have you seen over your lifetime?
- What are your thoughts on coming out?
- How does hearing about stories of hate crimes affect you?
The roundtable gave all the panellists a platform to share their personal views and experiences which is an important aspect of promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.
We received some great feedback from our colleagues after the session:
- “Well done to all of you for doing that, I really enjoyed listening to it.”
- “That was amazing, thank you for sharing with us.”
- “I learned so much from the roundtable, it was great!”
These sessions are so important as they not only give the people involved a voice but are also an opportunity for others to learn something. We can’t wait for the next one!
During Pride month, we ran Puddings for Pride to fundraise for three LGBTQIA+ charities (one for each country we have an office). With a generous donation by Lena, we raised over £1000, which we split equally between each charity (more information on them below), We hope that this money helps to make a difference in the lives of those in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Who they are: London-based charity that aims to support and uplift the lives of trans+ adults across the UK
Why we picked them: We had Dani St James (Founder and Chairperson of Not a Phase) visit us as an International Women’s Day guest speaker, and after hearing about the incredible things this charity does, we absolutely jumped at the chance to support them
Who they are: American charity helping LGBTQIA+ youth dealing with homelessness in the US
Why we picked them: LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth
Who they are: Toronto-based charity that is working on the recovery and preservation of LGBTQ2+ people and history
Why we picked them: We feel that in addition to fighting ongoing inequality, it’s also important to remember and honor our history so far
You can donate to any of the charities above on their websites using the links above.