Our board awarded for championing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Our wellness room and LGBTQIA+ library
One of the things I am most proud of at TLC: Talk, Listen, Change is the role that our staff
One of the things I am most proud of at TLC: Talk, Listen, Change is the role that our staff networks play.
For those unaware, our staff networks were established by team members who hold identities with protected characteristics to ensure TLC remains a diverse, inclusive and equality-driven organisation.
We currently have three staff networks: a People of Colour network, an LGBTQIA+ network, and a network for those with disabilities. Our staff network facilitators do amazing work creating a safe space for peer support and creating social connection across the organisation. I have the privilege of meeting with these facilitators on a regular basis to find out about any issues their members put forward for consideration, or ideas they have for improvement.
I’m super proud to announce that on the 2nd November 2022, we are opening two spaces at TLC: Talk, Listen, Change in coordination with our staff groups from ideas they put forward.
First, we are opening a prayer and wellbeing room for anyone who wants to take a moment to pray, meditate or reflect. This has come following a direct discussion with the People of Colour staff group, who suggested that we should be doing more to celebrate the different faiths across our organisation. 38% of our staff members identify as having a religion, and we are starting to explore how we can better accommodate those of different faiths. The opening of the prayer and wellbeing room is the first step in this journey.
Second, we are opening our own TLC: Talk, Listen, Change LGBTQIA+ resource library, so that members of our team who identify as such, or staff that work with LGBTQIA+ children, young people or adults, have a library to access resources on the matter. This is in direct response to the number of questions that the LGBTQIA+ staff group facilitator has received from the wider team about how best we can discuss identity. The plan is for the library to be regularly updated and provide a rich resource for everyone at TLC to use.
In our regular catch-up sessions, the staff group facilitatorsand I have begun to talk more about intersectionality and what it means.
Intersectionality is defined as
“the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage”.
Belonging to more than one group that faces discrimination can increase the likelihood of a person facing unfair treatment, and could make it more difficult to determine which aspect of their identity is being targeted.
Authenticity, openness, honesty and transparency are my top key values. I always talk at our staff inductions about wanting TLC to be a workplace where people are safe (and encouraged) to bring their whole self to work.
I’m fortunate to have no worries about being open and honest about my identity at work, and I’m striving for an organisation where everyone feels the same.
We’ve recognised that understanding intersectionality, and the experiences of team members who engage with more than one staff network, is critical to the journey we are on towards increasing diversity and inclusion.
Thinking more about intersectionality is challenging me to look past numbers and statistics, and focus on the actual human experience that people have at TLC. To do this, we are starting to have more regular discussions between the three staff network facilitators, and exploring the concept of allyship as an organisation. All of this is really early days, and we are moving forward with great consideration for each step, building trust with all involved, and being open about when we are nervous of getting it wrong.
I’m excited about the journey we are on and the aspirations we have about the organisation we want to be. I’m also really excited to have a space in the office where I can go to pray and enjoy a visible, safe space to celebrate my faith openly.
Check out the other topics our CEO Michelle has written about
No blacks, no Irish and no dogs… This is my history