To mark Pride month, we caught up with our CEO Nick Johnson to find out why Traverse is celebrating it, and the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace.
Why is it important for Traverse to celebrate Pride Month?
As a social purpose organisation that believes in the power of inclusion, Pride month is an important celebration for us to mark and be a part of raising awareness of the challenges that still face members of the LGBTQ+ community. Inclusivity and allyship are fundamental to our values at Traverse and we take pride in creating a safe and inclusive workplace where LGBTQ+ colleagues can fulfil their potential and thrive.
Why is it important for Traverse to pay attention to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace?
On a basic level of humanity, diversity and inclusion is about equality, about seeking to make a level playing field for all. It is important to understand that one person’s level playing field can, unless we are careful, be a field full of barriers for someone else.
As an organisation that seeks to put people at the heart of the major social and health inequality and climate breakdown discussions that Governments, public and private sector organisations take, it is also vital that Traverse reflects the diversity of the people whose voices we amplify.
What Initiatives does Traverse have in place to support diversity and inclusion?
As an organisation we actively seek to practice what we preach on diversity and inclusion, whether it be through monitoring and tracking our own diversity & inclusion data, or supporting the creation and growth of our own internal-facing LGBTQ+ hub (set up by Coco Tas and Morgan Fraser). We take pro-active steps such as signing up to the 10,000 Black Interns scheme and actively ensure we have a diverse senior leadership team (three of our five board members are female and two are from ethnic minority backgrounds).
I’ve also signed Traverse up to the Market Research Society’s Inclusion Pledge, which asks CEOs in our industry to make five commitments towards creating safer and more representative workplaces. We know there’s always opportunity for learning and growth for inclusive workplaces.
What advice would you have for other businesses looking to improve their diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace?
From our own experience at Traverse, it is clear that it is not enough for a business to say that it wants to be ‘diverse’ and ‘inclusive’ and then hope that it will happen by magic. Some simple steps to consider:
- When someone visits your website and looks at the team, if they don’t see people who they relate to, they are less likely to consider applying for any roles, so consider what your website implicitly says about your organisation
- It is not enough to redact personal information from CVs – if all applicants are, for example white, cis-gender and heterosexual, then who ever you choose will be the same. Changing representation requires active steps – working with recruiters who prioritise sending a diverse range of candidates, ensuring that your diversity begins with the most senior roles in the business not just the most junior; taking the time to understand from under-represented groups what the unspoken barriers to entry may be
- Provide a platform for colleagues already based within your organisation, who bring with them diverse lived experiences, to challenge and advocate for progressive and inclusive practices.
If you'd like to find out more about Pride Month, visit Stonewall.