As part of LGBT History Month, which aims to improve education and awareness of LGBT historical figures, DWF collaborated with the innovative Barclays Eagle Labs to present a community LGBT+ panel discussion focused on 'Where have we come from and where are we going?'.
The event was designed to not only celebrate how far businesses have come with LGBT+ inclusion but to also raise awareness of the progress still to be made.
Speakers included LGBT Advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester Carl Austin-Behan and Deputy Chief Executive of the LGBT Foundation Rob Cookson. They were joined by representatives from DWF and Barclays who shared their experiences from the legal and banking sectors, as well as about the wider LGBT+ community in Manchester.
Sarah Charlesworth, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at DWF said: "It was a pleasure to chair the LGBT History Month Event with Barclays Spectrum at Barclays Eagle Labs in Manchester. We had a packed auditorium to watch the panel discussion about the milestones the LGBT+ community has made and what more businesses can do to achieve true equality. The event included a great debate about LGBT people progressing in the workplace on their own merit, not because of their sexuality."
Sue Baines, Director Debit Cards – Barclays UK and Co-Chair Spectrum – Barclays LGBT employee network said: “LGBT rights in the UK&NI have evolved dramatically over the last 20 years with: right to serve openly in our military services (2000); age of consent equalised (2001); right to change legal gender (2005); right to adopt (2005); same-sex marriage in UK (2014) – to name but a few. And these changes in Law reflect increased acceptance in society – but is this the same as equality. Sadly: same-sex marriage is still not tolerated in NI; there is huge social stigma attached to someone who has HIV; there are still barriers facing LGBT couples wanting to become parents, with surrogacy and IVF incredibly complex both practically and in terms of who is legally considered the child’s parent; and there is still work to be done in supporting the transgender community. In the end, the law is there to protect us, but what really matters is social change, and corporates and government working together on events like this have a massive role to play in bringing about greater tolerance and helping refine law. #LoveGoesTheDistance”