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PAW (Pride at work) | Wirral, UK

Pride At Work (PAW) was established 5 years ago along with other ED&I working groups within Cadent. In that time we have made significant changes to policy and educational material available to all of our colleagues. When PAW was first established, the focus was ensuring we had a safe place for colleagues to come to for support or any advice they needed. We also had a presence at some of the pride events with one of our operational vehicles transformed into a float.
As we have developed as a community, we have refocused our time and energy and re-established what the important messages are that we wanted to share and educate our company with.
In the last 12/18 months, transgender people have been at the fore front of unnecessary and unwarranted attacks, from various sources, including high profile, high media sources. We have always been there to challenge these attacks and always been quick to team together and reassure and double down on these attacks, by reaffirming our stance and commitment as a community and company, to ensure everyone is supported, everyone is welcomed at cadent and has a safe space to come to if needed. Along side this, we have gone through HR policy changes, supporting HR in a consultancy roll, to ensure they were inclusive for all and that transgender people are protected, the same way everyone else is. This has now been part of our HR policies since August last year. We are also currently working on a educational support document for our call center colleagues, to do with pro-nouns. This document will help these colleagues on the importance of correct pro-nouns and how to approach the subject of pronouns and making sure you engage with customers correctly so not to offend.

One of our big ticket items in the last 6 months is our partnership with The George House Trust charity in Manchester. We have partnered with them to bring an educational training program to all of our colleagues, raising awareness around HIV and the stigmas still associated with it. This training package is in the last stages of development and will hopefully be launched at the end of this month (June). This is been a big deal for the PAW team, and something when presented to our executives and board, have been super interested and supportive of. This training will give a history of HIV, the stigmas associated with it, how it is now a manageable disease and can be managed under correct medication. They will also be joining us for Manchester pride this year, and we have had our float rebranded to show our partnership.

The end of last year we submitted our application to stonewall to feature on their top 100 employers. This was a long process to get the application together, as this had certain criteria to hit over several chapters required by stonewall. We had a dedicated lead for this application from our committee. This process required us to take a deep dive in all our processes within cadent, took a look at our suppliers and their commitment to ED&I etc. Last week we received our score and are ecstatic that we have been awarded the stonewall silver award. Whilst this is a massive achievement, it also highlights that there is still more work to be done to achieve gold and improve all of our processes.

We have also teamed up with one of the other ED&I working groups, fertility matters, where we jointly hosted a lunch and learn this week with representatives from TwodadsUK and LGBTmummies, who joined us to talk about the challenges faced with surrogacy and adoption for LGBTQIA+ couples. This was a very informative discussion where personal stories where hared with a great Q&A at the end. TwodadsUK and LGBTmummies have also agreed to help us look at our own policies around maternity, paternity etc and how we can make these more inclusive for all.

All the above mentioned shows our commitment to ensure Cadent is not only leader in our sector, but a world leadein ensuring our workplace is inclusive for all.