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Nestlé’s UK & Ireland LGBT+ Network celebrates Pride Month

To mark 2019 Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the Nestlé UK & Ireland LGBT+ Network has made a series of films exploring what it means to identify as LGBT+ at Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drinks manufacturer.

Here’s a sneak preview of the series, where members share why it is so important to be yourself at work.

The purpose of the Nestlé UKI LGBT+ Network is to inspire and help galvanise our business to be recognised across the UK and Ireland as a leading respectful and inclusive place to work. Alongside providing support, advice and networking for LGBT+ colleagues and allies, the group, made up of people from across Nestlé’s businesses in the UK and Ireland, leads the conversation around LGBT+ wellbeing, challenges stereotypes and helps ensure Nestlé UK & Ireland is a workplace grounded in respect and where everyone can be themselves.

The world has come a long way since the Stonewall riots in New York marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. Customers of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, tired of constant raids and harassment by the police, erupted in defiance. Their actions inspired LGBT+ people around the world and marked a turning point for the struggle for equality. In recent years, that long struggle has started to see results, many draconian laws across the UK and Ireland have been abolished giving gay, lesbian and bisexual people the same rights as heterosexual people. In other areas, like transgender equality, homophobic abuse/bullying and LGBT+ mental wellbeing, there is still much more work to be done. Globally, there are currently 70 countries that criminalise same-sex relations.

In the three years since its inception, the group has already established a core group of Nestlé people who meet on a regular basis to plan, support and implement new procedures and policies to make Nestlé a better place for LGBT+ colleagues. A key early success was the businesses commitment to inclusivity by joining the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme, which alongside in-house expertise has been able to offer support and advice to Nestlé as it continues its journey. As a Stonewall Champion, Nestlé in the UK is also participating in the annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, the UK’s definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.

Emma Scott, Co-Founder of the Nestlé UK & Ireland LGBT+ Network said: “At Nestlé the progress we are making for our LGBT+ colleagues is truly accelerating. In the space of just a few years, what started as a chat between two of us over a coffee, has evolved to the creation of a truly focused and ambitious LGBT+ Network, with over 20 core members and 120+ supporters and allies. Our Network has gone on to facilitate a new relationship with Stonewall, and because of this Nestlé is, for the first time ever, benchmarking our policies and procedures for LGBT+ people against the UK corporate environment. Alongside the conversations inside Nestlé, the Network has also been pivotal in raising our visibility externally, our participation in Pride events, across our markets and close to our operations sites has been fully embraced by the business.”

Earlier this month the Nestlé UK & Ireland LGBT+ Network marched in record numbers at York Pride, this week they will march for the first time ever in Ireland at Dublin Pride (Saturday, 29 June), and later in the summer they will be attending Brighton Pride (Saturday, 3 August) with their biggest presence yet.

Follow the Nestlé UK & Ireland YouTube in the coming days for insight and advice from members of the Nestlé UK & Ireland LGBT+ as they share what it means to be out and proud in the workplace.