By Navpreet Mangat
June of each year is Pride month, a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world, and a time to reflect on how far LGBTQ+ rights have come and also how much more work needs to be done. With same-sex marriage now legal in all parts of the UK, it can sometimes be easy to forget how different attitudes to homosexuality were in the past, and how much change has taken place over the past 50 years.
On 23 June 2021, the new £50 note which features Alan Turing entered circulation. Turing was a computer pioneer, maths genius and codebreaker but, like many men during the 1950s, he lived as a ‘criminal’ simply for being gay. In 1952, Turing was convicted of gross indecency after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man. But after a long campaign, Turing was posthumously granted a pardon in 2013, and in 2017 the government agreed to officially pardon all men who had been convicted, meaning they will no longer have a criminal record.
Turing’s appearance on the new £50 note has been welcomed by the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of a country facing up to the way gay men were persecuted, and his legacy reminds us every day that diversity is essential and inclusion is critical to our agency. You can discover more about LGBTQ+ icons from history here.
While we’ve made strides, there is still much to be done across all areas of society to ensure the LGBTQ+ community experiences true equality. Rising levels of transphobia, increased hate crimes and financial uncertainty are challenges many in the LGBTQ+ community continue to face. Through our global network of LGBTQ+ employees and allies at A+P, we will continue to help increase representation of the LGBTQ+ community and strive to achieve fairness and equality for all.
Please see below for some of the DE&I content that we read and discussed in June.
Channel 4: UK government faces questions over its handling of racism in sport
This video explores the government’s handling of racism in sport, and their decision to not condemn the fans who booed England football players who took the knee ahead of their final Euro 2020 warm-up friendly against Romania.
The Telegraph: What it's like growing up as a gay British Muslim – and how my family came to terms with it
Growing up, Mohsin Zaidi felt that 'being gay wasn't an option'. In this article, Zaidi explains how he helped blaze a trail for other young LGBT Muslims through his new memoir, A Dutiful Boy. Zaidi recalls his teenage terror at his growing understanding of his sexuality; throwaway homophobic jokes from family members; and the woman who left her family to become part of his.
The Guardian: Remote working has been life-changing for disabled people
As we rightly celebrate a return to normal, it should be remembered that, for disabled people, “normal” too often means being excluded from everyday life. Guardian columnist, Frances Ryan, shares how the shift to working at home over the past year brought new opportunities for disabled workers, but many are worried their hard-won progress will go backwards as ministers push for a return to the office.
City A.M.: Britain's tech industry needs to address its gender gap and invest in women
The pandemic has revealed the fundamental role of technology in our society, with innovative entrepreneurs working to find solutions to our greatest challenges. But it has also highlighted the huge inequalities across every aspect of society that we can no longer knowingly support or allow.
You can learn more here about Allison+Partners DE&I work and ecosystem of employee-led groups that connect and empower less-represented communities within our agency.