Engineering organisation Leonardo is launching employee networks, roadshows and lunchtime learning sessions for its 7,000 UK employees around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) History Month.
In recognition of LGBT History Month, typically held in February each year, Leonardo is creating LGBT employee networks across all of its UK sites, including Basildon, Edinburgh, Luton, Southamption and Yeovil. This is the start of a longer-term plan to introduce more employee networks at the organisation, for example a carers’ network, and to attract and retain a more diverse workforce
These networks, which employees can join as members or supportive allies, will be used to help shape and inform Leonardo’s diversity and inclusion strategy.
Jane McDonald, head of diversity and inclusion at Leonardo, said: “We believe true inclusion is about providing a workplace where all LGBT people can, quite simply, be themselves, accepted and supported without exception.”
Leonardo is also introducing lunchtime learning sessions; this will start with the screening of a TED Talk by human resources activist Morgana Bailey for up to 30 employees. Bailey’s talk centres around what happens when an employee feels they cannot be themselves at work.
The organisation is additionally hosting an employee-led LGBT roadshow, which will share information on Leonardo’s existing diversity and inclusion programme.
Leonardo has communicated with employees about these activities via the staff intranet, emails and a monthly team briefing document.
February’s initiatives around LGBT History Month form part of Leonardo’s wider diversity and inclusion strategy. The organisation wishes to use this approach to both attract and retain a broader talent pool and to create an environment of trust in the workplace. In part, this work reflects changes in society; however, the organisation also realises the business impacts, on performance and creativity, of having a wide-ranging employee base.
McDonald added: “We know inclusion is not a given and we take that seriously. Employing a rich mix of people means [we] considerably widen the skills base, with individuals who bring fresh perspectives to innovation and engineering.
“An atmosphere of mutual respect means [employees] can bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.”