Introducing Glean Pride

Glean Pride has some exciting plans in the works. So how did the network come about? And what’s in store?

Clock3 min readCalendarPublished: 24 Feb 2022
AuthorGlean Pride

Hi, we’re Glean Pride!

Our group formed when Mark, our glorious leader, wanted to see who was interested in organising Glean’s attendance at Leeds Pride. Unfortunately, the pandemic had other plans.

While we patiently waited for next year’s event, we wanted to see how we could represent the values of Pride within the business all year round and, lo, we became a self-started employee network.

Our aims are to promote learning about LGBTQIA+ identities and provide an inclusive and supportive space for all employees. We also want to have a lot of fun, and fingers crossed we can attend Leeds Pride this summer.

So, what have we done so far?

We kicked off our journey by inviting the company to a ‘lunch and learn’ where we took people through a quick tour of LGBTQIA+ history over the last 50 years. We were thrilled to get loads of engagement and questions from many members of the company, which spurred us on.

On our shiny new Slack channel, we began sharing film and TV recommendations with queer themes and characters as a fun way to educate people about different identities.

Our People team has been super receptive to our group and have now included information about us in the Glean welcome pack for new starters. They’re always happy to hear our ideas and help us out where they can.

Our greatest achievement to date is nominating Touchstone for Glean’s charity donation at Christmas and the whole company getting behind their amazing cause.

To celebrate, we asked Arfan, Touchstone’s CEO, to join us at a virtual 'Lunch and Learn' to share more about their mission and work in the community. After a break from Lunch and Learns, it was one of our best yet. We loved hearing from Arfan and all left smiling and excited about their future plans!

Most recently, we ran a short quiz for LGBTQIA+ history month in the all-hands company meeting, and we’ll be following this up with some informative posts about historical queer icons.

Lets hear from some of own queer icons and allies:

Within our Glean Pride group there's a variety of reasons why people would want to join. As a way of introducing some of us, we asked the team to reflect on their reasons and what they were hoping to get out of it.

As a digital accessibility specialist I regularly see websites that have not considered all users' needs and requirements. Glean Pride is an opportunity to make sure we are considering all colleagues' needs and requirements and create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. - Ady Stokes

When it comes to my place in the LGTBQ+ community, I've had my fair share of imposter syndrome in the past. This is something that I've only really started to shed in more recent years, and becoming an active part of Glean Pride has been a great step in that direction. As a more reserved person, it's also forced me to properly think about advocacy. Where before I would rarely talk about my gender identity unless directly asked, I'm now thinking much more about how I can use my experiences to raise awareness for the trans community as a whole. - Alex Burlton

I joined Glean Pride to meet other people with similar identities and make new friends! I’ve been a part of various pride groups at previous jobs and couldn’t wait to get involved. - Harriet Betts

Glean Pride formed at a time when I was looking for ways to influence inclusion in the workplace, and this group has provided a great platform. It was also a perfect opportunity to make friends and work with people I wouldn’t usually. - Cora McIlwain

I’ve been super passionate about Diversity and Inclusion since I started my career. D&I is so important, and no I’m not talking from a corporate perspective. From a human level, there’s nothing more important than feeling you belong. Whether it’s an issue at work or an issue at home. You should never have to go it alone. So if I can make 1 person feel that they aren’t an outsider, 1 person who feels they can talk about their “boyfriend” rather than their partner. Then I think Glean Pride will be a job well done. Pride has changed a lot in the 10 years that I’ve been arranging entries for companies. I’m very excited to see what Glean does in summer 2022, and what we can do for the community. - Mark McWhirter

What’s next?

We’re only just getting started and have many future plans, such as:

  • Attend Leeds Pride, FINALLY!
  • Celebrate LGBTQIA+ history month
  • Set up a LGBTQIA+ film Club
  • Continue to provide support & welcome new members

Watch out for us, and our cool t-shirts, at Leeds Pride later in the year. We hope to see you there!

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