To celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month in June, we sat down with some of our LGBT members and supporters in the United Kingdom & Ireland to ask them about their own experiences.
This is the next step in our efforts to promote a positive and inclusive work environment at SThree, to embrace diversity and ensure that all opinions and perspectives are valued.
While you can find our entire LGBT series on Instagram, we put together this article featuring some of our LGBT members and supporters.
Take a look!
Max Gottlieb, Candidate Consultant at SThree brand Huxley
“I started at SThree nine months ago. Joining a new company can be a daunting experience. I define myself as gay. However, when most people meet me they assume I am straight because of how I present myself. People have an opinion of what a gay man should look and act like, which is wrong on so many levels. Gay men come in all shapes, sizes and personalities.”
“As I have carried on my venture with SThree, and started to talk to more people around me, I gradually opened up day by day. I’ve found people that are in the same position as myself and have built friendships and the confidence to technically ‘come out’ to my colleagues.”
“It’s also not easy when you meet someone new as you don’t know how they will react. At the end of the day we are all human beings and would love to live in harmony and peace, so I urge you to support every one of your colleagues who defines themselves as LBGT.”
“Show them that they are no different to you. And so here it is, I’m officially ‘out’ to the office now.”
Caryl Morales, Operations Support Analyst
“I would identify myself as transgender, someone who has not gone through physical changes, but have emotionally. This is something I want to change in the future.”
“I understand that people are not sure how to address me, and some of my close friends within SThree do address me as ‘he’ because they understand that I am more happy being addressed like that.”
“When I first joined SThree there were moments I was embarrassed, one of which was when I entered the ladies toilet and people were shocked to see me and asked if they were in the right facilities."
“I have grown to ignore this and just live my life. I cannot change how people see me and am just happy about who I am and what I do.”
“I feel positive that people are now more understanding in and out of SThree towards LGBT, I do not feel embarrassed anymore and I feel that I am more accepted within our society. I have even introduced my partner to work here at SThree and she is now a permanent employee.”
Alex Banks, Contract Management Consultant
I’m Alex, a Contract Management Consultant in London who has been working at SThree for two and a half years.”
“As a gay man, celebrating Pride month is a big deal to me as it really shows unity throughout not just our LGBT community but the wider society. Having an inclusive environment means a place where everyone should feel comfortable to be themselves, somewhere I can be the same as I am in my personal life, being able to speak freely about my interests and never face any negative reactions.”
“I remember back to when I first started at SThree. There was a slight hesitation to share this part of my life, when the discussion about dating came up and what I was doing that weekend (which was going to see a Lady Gaga concert because I love fitting into the LGBT stereotype). However, I was lucky enough to have been surrounded by colleagues who accepted me for who I am and never had anything but a positive reaction.”
“I’m proud to be working with SThree in helping to create a more diverse and inclusive working environment for everyone from all walks of life.”
Georgia Cousins, Recruitment Consultant at SThree brand Huxley
“I started at SThree nine months ago with no intention of sharing the fact that I am bisexual. Being a bisexual woman can become a sexualised term, even a term that the LGBT community find hard to accept.”
"However, when I got to know everyone at SThree, I began to feel more relaxed about sharing this with people. Yes, I had the standard questions like, “but who do you prefer?” and “do you think it’s just a phase?”, but I’ve dealt with those questions my whole ‘out’ life.”
“Telling people made me feel myself and allowed me to embrace my sexuality. I have also met others in the company who identify themselves as part of the LGBT community.”
“We all need to stick together regardless of whether we identify ourselves as LGBT or want to support this network of fabulous individuals. For me, SThree is all about embracing this inclusive environment.”
Ashley Samuels, IT & Mobile Procurement Specialist
“Back in 2004, when I started working for SThree, I didn't identify myself as gay in the workplace. I didn't feel comfortable talking openly about this area of my life as it was my first job in the city.”
“I was also still getting to grips myself with the fact that I was a gay man. It was easier to say I was straight and single to fit in with my colleagues, which was hard for me as I felt I wasn’t being authentic.”
“It wasn't until late 2005, when I confided in a consultant about my sexual orientation. I realised I wanted to come out. Eventually when I did, I found no one except myself really had an issue with it. I was part of a minority of openly gay people, but it was welcomed so much that we even changed the location for our usual Thursday night drinks and started to go to Profile/G-A-Y, a well-known gay bar in Soho!”
“I can say that I am truly proud to work at SThree. It's 2017 and I feel that society has moved on and it's more accepted to be LGBTIQ+. I have amazing relationships with others in the company who identify themselves as straight and feel supported throughout.”
If you have any questions about upcoming events, LGBT awareness or anything else related to this topic, please feel free to send an email to [email protected]; and if you are interested in joining a company that puts inclusion and diversity at the heart of everything they do, then browse our most recent career opportunities.