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The 2019 Pride in London parade will celebrate 50 years since the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement* as thousands of people make their way through the heart of the West End. Sodexo colleagues from the Pride UK & Ireland employee network will be front and centre, with 35 team members representing the company and helping to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues.
James Thatcher, account manager in Schools & Universities, will be one of the colleagues taking part: “As a manager, I want to ensure that my team understand that they can be proud of their sexuality. I’m lucky to have a great team at Birkbeck, so when they asked me if they could take part in the Pride march, I wanted to be there with them to show my support."
“All team members should have the opportunity to be themselves at work and not be judged, whatever their sexual orientation.”
For Laura Penaluna, finance manager in Corporate Services, Pride in London comes at a special time in her life: “I got married 4 weeks ago, and I cannot wait to show my wife off to one million people! Seven years ago, I was having very nervous, gut-wrenching conversations with people, coming out to them, which I found to be extremely difficult. And now, here I am about to dance down the streets of London, letting people know that it’s ok to be who you are.”
Food director at GSK House, Liezel Bezuidenhout, believes that there is a wider benefit to celebrating Pride: “I am hugely passionate about equality, raising awareness and developing networks.
“Pride is one of the ways we can do this, especially in the workplace. This is also a day to celebrate diversity on a wider scale and stand together against discrimination in general.”
Show your #SodexoPride by sharing photos of solidarity on social media (including the hashtag #PrideinLondon), and, if you’re not already a member, join the employee network to hear about future activities. The network will also be taking part in the Manchester Pride parade on 24 August, with 50 places available for colleagues.
Pride UK & Ireland aims to lead and enable LGBT+ colleagues to achieve their full potential through creating a positive, supportive and inclusive working environment. To join the network or find out more, email UKandIEPride@sodexo.com or click here for information.
* LGBT+ is defined by Pride in London as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, asexual, polysexual, genderqueer and gender variant people.
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