This July marks 50 years of Pride in the UK. Throughout the past five decades, Pride has become a vital, landmark fixture on the British calendar and is now celebrated in cities and towns across the country. So, where are we now?

The triumphs

The first Pride march on 1st July 1972 saw 2,000 participants calling for gay rights. Fifty years on and so much has been achieved (not to mention a monumental increase in Pride parade footfall); from the first British newspaper, Gay News, launching in the 1970s, to the first Black Gay and Lesbian Group being formed in 1980s, to the World Health Organisation de-classifying same-sex attraction as a mental illness in the 1990s, to same-sex marriages in 2010s.

The tribulations

2019 saw 1.5 million people celebrate Pride, marching in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, it’s clear that there is still a long way to go. With many barriers still in place, education and awareness continues to push for change in all areas of Britain.

One example to review is the 1989 ban on teaching same sex relationships in education. In April 2019, the Government announced new regulations for teaching Relationships and Sex Education in England, which is a great step forward in the fight for equality. But the fight is far from over. Roll out to Scotland, Wales and Ireland is taking place until 2023, with reviews set in place for later this year. There is also no requirement for schools to implement the new guidance, nor are schools inspected on how they implement it, meaning many are still not teaching LGBTQ-inclusive RSE.

The fight for equality has seen many ups and downs over the past 50 years, and there’s set to be more to come. The path to equality and inclusion doesn’t appear to be a simple nor straightforward one.

The present

With Pride events put on hold for the past two years due to Covid, this year is even more significant than most. Stonewall has launched a #TakePride campaign, calling on all to stand by the LGBTQ+ community. The campaign aims to empower all to voice their support for LGBTQ+ rights, and then take meaningful steps to improve lives.

From a workplace perspective, empowering staff to #TakePride and support a diverse workforce could not be more important. Creating an environment in which all employees feel they belong will, in turn, increase productivity and employee retention. Indeed, a report by Deloitte highlighted that 82% of LGBTQ+ employees believe allyship helped them be out at work, thereby promoting a working environment where everyone can be their authentic selves, and feel supported to develop and thrive.

The future

Taking action today is much more important than tomorrow, plus it’s easy.

Whether reviewing your existing policies, setting up a LGBTQ+ employee network or reading and sharing our latest blog “What Can Workplaces Do To Support The LGBTQ+ Community?” these are steps towards change. And we can help too. Our experienced HR consultants also offer a wide range of LGBTQ+, Gender Identity Awareness and Allyship workshops to get you started and get your people talking.

Email hello@telljane.co.uk to find out more.

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