This month we celebrate Pride Month – a time dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. Why June? June marks the important protests that took place in 1969, that changed gay rights for a lot of people in America as well as internationally. Since then, many changes have been made – from protection in law, equal marriage rights and significant progress in many societies for the LGBTQ+ community. There is still much more work to be done, however, with more than 60 countries that still have laws that criminalise homosexuality, and we would be naïve to think discrimination no longer exists here in the UK too.
At Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust we serve a richly diverse population. Not only is this apparent across our communities and through the patients we serve, but also within our workforce. We should cherish and recognise the contribution of people from all walks of life, and the positive difference they make to patients and to society more broadly. We have a zero tolerance approach to any discrimination towards any person based on their personal protected characteristics. In particular, we will not tolerate any form of discrimination towards people based on their sexuality or who they love. As an organisation we strive to create an inclusive culture; by celebrating the diversity of our workforce, by learning from best practice and by identifying and taking positive action to tackle inequality.
Significant changes have been made in society since the Stonewall Riots, but we still need to continue to raise awareness, challenge negative attitudes and encourage inclusiveness within our organisation. I support members of the LGBTQ+ community and encourage straight allies to stand alongside our LGBTQ+ colleagues to celebrate diversity, foster inclusivity, and challenge discrimination.
Colleagues who wish to visibly show their support can sign up for the Rainbow Badge Scheme and wear their Rainbow Badge with Pride. Please see the intranet for further details on the scheme.