Being yourself in the workplace

Lorna Fulton, Leadership Solutions Manager

‘You deserve an employer who values you for who you are.’

At Stonewall we say that ‘people perform better when they can be themselves’. Hundreds of employers agree with us, which is why every organisation in this guide works with Stonewall to help create working environments that enable people to bring their whole selves to work – including their sexual orientation.
Landing your first job can be daunting. Working out what you want to do and where takes time and energy. Job-hunting can be exhausting and then of course there’s the interview, not to mention the first day. All this can be even more difficult if you’re worried that someone might find out that you’re lesbian, gay or bisexual. It’s distracting, and when you hide part of who you are it can feel really uncomfortable. It’s also energy zapping to worry about whether your new working environment is a safe one in which to be LGB or T.

We know that the decision to come out in a new environment can be scary. That’s why we produce Starting Out, a useful tool to help you see which organisations create environments that allow people to just get on with the job instead of worrying about coming out. Stonewall works with more than 650 organisations across all sectors and across the whole of the UK, many of which are featured in this guide. These organisations are working towards creating environments where new and existing staff can be who they are, without fear of bullying or feeling that they need to hide.
The employers in this guide understand that being who you are helps you to be the best you can be, which is essential for your well-being at work. An employee who is just themselves has the space to be more creative, inventive, to challenge and be challenged and is more productive at work.

Starting Out is a great way to evaluate which UK employers are working to create inclusive places for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* staff. We think they’ll be able to take your talent further, helping you thrive in your chosen career. After all, you deserve an employer who values you for who you are. Using this guide gives you an idea of what it’s really like to be gay and work in a sector or organisation, directly from real life role models.
You have the choice to work with an employer who takes this stuff seriously. If your prospective employer has an LGBT network group, LGBT allies, visible LGBT role models and a senior person who is visible in agreeing that people perform better when they can be themselves then you can be sure that you’re in good hands.

Be yourself – you’re the only one who knows how.