Case studies

Our difference: Empowering LGBT+ leaders

Overview

Being your true self at work should be taken for granted. Everybody deserves to be treated equally and with respect, but the reality can be very different for those from the LGBT+ community.

Entering the workplace can be a particularly daunting experience. Many LGBT+ people come out at university, but a staggering 60 per cent of those choose to go back into the closet when they start work.

Our aim is to empower young LGBT+ people to feel confident in their identity and sexual orientation at work, and to support them in reaching their full career potential.

Developed in partnership with LGBT+ charity Just Like Us (JLU), we created an innovative mentoring programme aimed at giving LGBT+ graduates the skills, confidence and advice they need as they transition from university life to full time employment.

To provide those being mentored with experiences that matched their own, we sought mentors from diverse backgrounds within the LGBT+ community and from a wide range of industries and professions.

Mentors to date have included; Brian Bickell, CEO Shaftesbury; Amy Lamé, The Mayor of London's 'Night Tsar'; former RAF pilot Ayla Holdom; This Morning's resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, composer Raymond Yiu, playwright Carl Miller and Travers Smith's Head of HR Carly Hubbard, as well as partner Daniel Gerring. 

The feedback on the programme demonstrates the powerful difference mentoring can make.

Partner, and Chair of the firm's LGBT+ Group, Daniel Gerring, who is also on the Trustee Board of JLU, said of last year's feedback: “The fact that over 80 per cent of the student ambassadors felt confident to start their first job openly LGBT+ highlights the role this scheme can play in supporting our future LGBT+ leaders, as well as some of the remaining challenges".