Three years ago I joined the Lloyds Bank LBGT+ colleague network, Rainbow. The first event I had the opportunity to attend was Lloyds Banking Group LGBT+ Workplace Role Models programme in partnership with Stonewall. I’m a proud bisexual woman who’s often mistaken for being heterosexual, and being the only bi person on the course, I found it a great opportunity to share stories from my perspective. It was then that I realised the importance of charities in educating and supporting the LGBT+ community.
This year we’re celebrating 10 years of Rainbow, and to celebrate, we launched our ‘Rainbow 10’ charity challenge, aiming to raise £10,000 for our LGBT+ charity partners, such as Opening Doors London and Mermaids. We’ve invited colleagues to complete 10 of a task (like reading 10 books, cycling 10km), donate £10 to one of our charity partners, and then nominate 10 colleagues to do the same.
I played my part by baking cupcakes for my neighbours decorated with full Pride colours and topped with flags. I’m not the best baker, but it was a great way to celebrate the inclusive rainbow of trans communities and queer people of colour. I also walked 10,000 steps in aid of Mermaids, which is one of the UK’s leading LGBT+ charities that seeks to educate and inform wider society on gender identity by helping professionals accommodate and reassure gender-variant young people.
Working at Lloyds Bank, I feel recognised for who I truly am, proud of how far I’ve come and passionate about all the incredible work we’ve achieved in the community.
Another way I’m able to spend time doing charitable work is through Lloyds Bank’s ‘Day to Make a Difference’ programme, volunteering for a day each year with a charity of your choice. Our regional Rainbow team usually spends the day with AKT, a national charity founded in Manchester that ensures LGBT+ young people have safe homes and bright futures.
As a mentor to Stonewall Young Campaigners, I have previously spent this day offering young LGBT+ people guidance and support. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to mentor the game-changers of the future without Lloyds Bank’s charity initiatives to encourage employees to get out and volunteer.
In the past it’s been a struggle for me to show my pride as a bisexual woman. Working at Lloyds Bank, I feel recognised for who I truly am, proud of how far I’ve come and passionate about all the incredible work we’ve achieved in the community.
Although in recent months we’ve been apart, we’re hopeful for the future. Rainbow’s 10 year anniversary has been an amazing way for us to reflect on all the great work we’ve done, and to look forward to the next decade, where we’ll take LGBT+ inclusivity even further in the workplace.