Last week saw 2018’s addition of the burgeoningly popular Pride festival in the UK: a celebration of diversity, inclusion and acceptance focusing on (but not limited to) the global LGBT+ community.
In London, partying on the streets was in full force in another successful year for the LGBT+ movement in the city. However, as noted by the Financial Times, in a business sense asset management is lagging behind other sectors in the setting-up of fully inclusive environments. Due to the global scope of financial services, this prompts a further problem with inclusion; notably, the LGBT+ network in particular countries are yet to be fully supported, on top of the preconception of the traditional mindset of financial services – the glacial pace in adopting forward-thinking, open encouragement of a diverse workforce.
However, this criticism may come without backing. Indeed, asset management and investment banks are showing more and more that LGBT+ employees feel comfortable in their workplaces. This is a result of great efforts in the past few years to roll out legislation pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As an excellently constructed report by the Investment Association highlights, 80% of LGBT surveyed employees in asset management and investment banking feel able to express themselves at work. This is hopefully opposed to a finding 5 years ago that 29% of transgender respondents from 93,000 LGBT people in the EU felt they had suffered discrimination in the workplace or when looking for work. The report offered many useful pointers companies can implement to fully support the cause.
Encouragingly, we kept an eye on the efforts financial services companies were making to promote their support for colleagues, clients and the wider community in the lead up to and during Pride.
Possibly the most up-front support comes from direct involvement in events. The Pride parade took place on Saturday in London, with representation from asset managers including Schroders and Legal & General Investment Management, as noted by FT, marketing themselves as inclusive working environments.
The Pride parade is just the encapsulation of a week-long Pride celebration, and Hermes were showing their support in the build-up to the weekend. Another popular event in the financial services sector is the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, which Hermes took part in wearing rainbow shoelaces. A simple way to encourage inclusion, but something that all companies can use to achieve this.
We are looking forward to taking part in the #jpmorganchallenge this evening and will be wearing our #rainbow ribbons and shoelaces in support of #LGBT and #Pride #Pride2018 #LGBTQ #Diversity #DiversityandInclusion #hermespride @jpmorgan pic.twitter.com/mVCtAGBNI1
— Hermes Investment (@Hermesinvest) July 5, 2018
Sharing participation on social media is a great way to highlight company culture and support. As mentioned before, Schroders was involved in the march, with employees emblazoned in a rainbow-coloured Schroders logo with flags. The firm also ran an effective marketing campaign asking students about preconceptions in investment management to champion diversity and equal opportunity.
— Schroders (@Schroders) July 7, 2018
Sometimes you can never have too much involvement, and Deutsche Bank’s participation was exemplary for many reasons. Joined by Diversity Role Models and school children from around London, they shared the efforts for their #BorntoBeProud initiative on social media excellently, including LinkedIn, and even brought along an amazing Unicorn float for the ride to make a bold supporting statement.
Social Media Coverage
Social media channels remain the greatest way to highlight company culture both inside and outside of the working day. Pride 2018 provided multiple opportunities for brands to highlight inclusion in many forms.
Legal & General Investment Manager keenly used Twitter to highlight their involvement in LGBT+ matters. Many of their graphics highlight quotations from their employees, and they used this format to promote their inclusive workplace attitude too. As above, LGIM also partnered with other companies – The Ocean Partnership and Stonewall – for a pre-Pride event supporting the diversity of their employees, clients and suppliers, advertised on their Twitter feed.
With pride less than 3 days away, we are proud to be hosting our pre pride event tonight with @Ocean_UKI @stonewalluk #celebrating the diversity of our clients, suppliers, brand and most importantly our people @LGIM @landg_group #diversity #inclusion https://t.co/llPdiKVMx6 pic.twitter.com/un9rpfhwMh
— Deon pillay (@Deonpillayuk) July 4, 2018
UK bank Barclays also used Instagram to wonderful effect to show their participation this Pride. Using a #NoFilter hashtag to trademark their ‘tour bus’, the colourful branding looked excellent for Instagram-worthy photography. They also grouped their Pride 2018 campaign in an Instagram story which you can still view.
Utilising Twitter to its full marketing advantage at Pride was Aviva plc. Covering not just London Pride, but also the parade event in Toronto, Aviva has its own @AvivaPride off-shoot to promote its ongoing LGBT support. It certainly went the extra length by handing out 30,000 pairs of rainbow laces to attempt to end discrimination in sport, and employing Instagram boomerang gifs and video content to promote their overall #OUTforOurCustomers campaign. It’s an extremely thorough marketing strategy, culminating in an #OUTsurance London red bus being used as a convoy for their marchers on Saturday.
Look out for the Aviva ‘OUTsurance’ bus which will once again be part of this year’s Pride in London parade tomorrow. We’re there to celebrate diversity & the importance of encouraging people to be themselves. @AngeDarlington #Aviva #Executive #Sponsor pic.twitter.com/IhOdtmD9iU
— Aviva plc (@avivaplc) July 6, 2018
Financial services companies have also used other methods to offer more in-depth opinion pieces and thought provoking interviews.
State Street have showcased their role as an LGBT+ ally through their Twitter page, and in particular their ‘From Acceptance to Ally’ thought piece from Natalie Sanchez, a member of the firm’s Global Inclusion & Diversity Team. It’s gives an understandable account of how companies can face difficulty in their inclusivity efforts, but all can achieve it through greater understanding. You can read the article here.
Another form of content marketing we see as a winner is podcasts. CBRE UK have featured an excellent 3-part miniseries on SoundCloud to effectively discuss LGBT+ issues through the CBRE Proud Network. The Pride Perspectives podcasts are short clips featuring the personal accounts of CBRE employees about their employment history and company life as LGBT people. You can check out the playlist below.
Much like Aviva’s AvivaPride, global financial services and consultancy giant PwC has its own subsidiary – GLEE – to focus on its inclusion efforts. Their expansive set of content mainly centres around how diversity can better the business world; its excellent insights can be found here, as well as on PwC’s main site which features interview-style videos and reports built to investigate LGBT+ inclusion through their Out to Succeed campaign. PwC’s GLEE UK Twitter page also duly delivered with a large selection of photos from the parade.
We had such a great weekend @PrideInLondon celebrating #LGBT+ inclusion., here’s a few pics from the over 160 #PwC @GLEEPwCUK friends and family who attended #PrideMatters #PwCPride #PwCProud @PwC_UK_Careers @PwC_UK @sarahjchurchman @AshmeadSiers pic.twitter.com/PDlKXpiibL
— Andy Woodfield 🦉🏳️🌈 (@andy_woodfield) July 8, 2018
It’s great to see the clear championing of diversity arising in the financial services world through written articles, social media sharing, educational services and organisational partnerships. Inclusion can always be furthered, but financial firms are certainly making a sterling effort at promoting LGBT+ matters, not just at Pride events globally, but throughout the year.
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