By Laura Hinton, PwC Head of People and GLEE@PwC Ambassador
On 8th July, tens of thousands of people will join the Pride in London parade – and up to a million more will take to the streets in celebration – as London comes together to voice its support for diversity and inclusion in general, and the LGBT+ community in particular.
Pride in London is a fantastic event that gets bigger and better every year. It’s now one of the largest Pride celebrations worldwide and among the biggest annual events in London. And at this year’s Pride in London parade, PwC will not only be represented by many of our people proudly walking the route, but we’ve also become of a major sponsor for the first time. I know that our people take great pride and encouragement in such public demonstrations of the firm’s commitment to LGBT+ inclusion.
What’s more, our involvement with Pride in London is only one part of our support for the Pride movement across the UK. This year we are also marching in the Pride parades in Leeds and – for the first time – Belfast, and in May marched in Birmingham Pride. At every event, we’re proud to be demonstrating our commitment to the values at the heart of Pride.
In fact, those values are closely aligned with the values that lies at the heart of PwC. And as well as being the right thing to do, supporting Pride also makes good business sense – generating benefits that flow through to all our people, our clients, and our success as a firm.
Why? Because the whole inclusivity agenda is absolutely critical to what we’re all about, both individually and collectively. It goes to the core of who we are and our ability to deliver on our purpose – “To build trust in society and solve important problems.” And it’s in looking to build this trust that Pride and PwC are closely aligned.
Let me explain. We’re living in an era when society at large has lost trust in business – particularly big business. But even as a big business, PwC is really a collection of humans living and working in our communities. There’s a widespread perception that big businesses like ours are siloed from the rest of society, but that really isn’t the case: we’re part of our communities, and our goal is to be every bit as diverse and inclusive as they are.
Pride in London and other events could become even more important to individuals and corporates that want to stand up for diversity. As such, this year’s Pride in London in July could see even greater numbers of participants and visitors to the Parade, as well as more vocal support from corporates.
Our support for Pride helps us demonstrate our commitment to being inclusive, by developing a working environment where difference of all types is truly valued. Our determination to create such as workplace is embedded in our people strategy. We aim to empower our people to be the best they can be and realise their full potential. But we know they’ll only be able to do those things if they can truly be their real selves at work.
If people are working in an environment where they can be open about who they are and what’s happening in their life at home, then they’ll be happier at work. Happier employees are more productive, more engaged, and more likely to go the extra mile for our clients – in turn improving our client delivery and relationships.
The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace go further. Having a diverse range of views and perspectives makes for better decisions. Inclusivity brings us more vibrant teams, richer debates, and better answers to the problems we’re looking to solve for clients. Which makes us a better business.
Put all this together, and the benefits that spring from inclusivity add up to a pretty compelling list. Making better decisions. Enabling our people to fulfil their potential. Connecting more deeply with our communities. And strengthening the vital trust with society that we – in common with all other businesses – depend on.
Our support for Pride helps us achieve all these things. Sure, it’s the right thing to do. But it’s also much, much more than that.