Before Vodafone I would have never entertained the thought of coming out in the workplace
Letitia Treasure, one of our employees and proud face of our #ChangeTheFace campaign. She talks below about what it is like to identify as LGBT+ in the workplace and stresses the need for more diversity in the technology sector.
I’ll be honest, I’m not tremendously fond of cameras. Yet being at Vodafone has really given me the confidence to face discomfort and has led to some seemingly crazy opportunities, such as being part of the Change The Face campaign. Growing up I only wish there was more representation of diversity and I don’t believe there can ever be enough. So despite my initial uneasiness being faced with a lens, I felt wholly warmed at the privilege and opportunity to be a part of such a compelling campaign. It is paramount that awareness is raised about the need for diversity in the technology industry, and that people can relate to real working faces of technology and see that these faces are so much more than the stereotype – they’re full of diversity, with personalities from all over and colours from the rainbow and beyond (intentional Buzz Lightyear-esque quote). We ultimately need to share the ideology that any individual, no matter their walk of life, has the potential to pursue any avenue or opportunity they desire.
Before Vodafone, I would have never… ever… a whole lotta’ nope… even entertained the thought of coming out in the workplace. Little did I know at the time that I was alongside around 58% of individuals that choose to hide their sexual orientation at work. Growing up I didn’t feel exposure to any LGBT+ community, so I guess with the lack of representation, perspectives, and conversations, I wasn’t the most confident surrounding my identity, nor did I even try to acknowledge the subject. So joining Vodafone was somewhat overwhelming at first - I remember as part of my induction we had an entire day dedicated to LGBT+ awareness, perspectives, concepts, pronouns, and so much more. Listening to an LGBT+ perspective panel of individual stories was one of the most inspiring parts and from that point onwards, I found so much support in members of the LGBT+ network, who have become some of my closest friends. To have found this level of support at work is profound and I would passionately recommend to any person seeking a new workplace that a strong culture of engrained D&I networks be a priority in their choice.
Since the COVID-19 situation, I have admired the strength of the LGBT+ community at Vodafone. The network has persisted in connecting virtually, running their many events online and frequently posting LGBT+ information such as stories, statistics, and more. Working for an LGBT+ inclusive employer is important to me because I feel it is essential to have the space and support to be yourself without constraints of potential judgement. To know that you are included and represented in all processes of the business you’re a part of, that there are platforms for your voice to be heard, and to ultimately feel comfortable within a place you choose to spend the majority of your life.