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The Identity Group is one of seven Employee Resource Group at EMCOR UK. It is centred around the LGBTQIA community and is made up of both people community members and their allies. We work to raise awareness, promote unity, remove barriers and stigma, and ensure everyone is able to come to work and be their authentic selves.

2023 was our Year of Allyship, where we introduced allyship training to help our teams support their colleagues. In addition to this, the chairs of the identity group delivered in person LGBTQIA allyship training to over a third of our business. At the end of each session, we ask employees to make an active allyship commitment that is later incorporated within their appraisals. This is an ongoing programme of activity that ensures our colleagues honour their commitment. As a business, we’re focusing on the intersectionality of our employee resource groups. We understand that identities are multifaceted and extend beyond singular categories such as gender, age, or ethnicity. Our approach emphasises viewing individuals holistically, rather than focusing on one aspect of their identity. In 2024, we introduced a new structure for our employee resource groups, dividing them into two distinct categories. The first is a steering group, tasked with leading initiatives and driving change within the organisation in alignment with our ED&I strategy and group objectives. The second is a networking group, providing a platform for colleagues to gather, connect, and share their experiences, challenges, and any barriers they may face. These groups serve as the conscience of our business, directly engaging with employees to listen to their feedback and concerns. The networking group facilitates open dialogue and community-building, while the steering group channels these insights to enact meaningful change and progress. This dual approach ensures that our ED&I efforts are informed by the diverse perspectives and voices of our workforce, fostering a culture of inclusion and empowerment within our organisation.

Over the past year, our LGBTQIA podcast journey has been nothing short of transformative. Winning a prestigious British Diversity Award and securing 37th place in the Top 50 UK Inclusive Employers List has not only validated our efforts but also reinforced that we are making significant and progressive change in this space. With our heightened awareness on the importance of intersectionality, we’ve taken a significant leap forward by broadening the scope of our podcast. Initially centred on LGBTQIA topics, we recognised the need to broaden our discussions to encompass a wider range of protected characteristics. This expansion reflects our commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that all voices within our diverse workforce are heard and represented. By embracing topics from across the spectrum of protected characteristics, we strive to create a platform that fosters understanding, empathy, and appreciation for the richness of human experience in our workplace and beyond. Reflecting on our journey, several key learnings have emerged. Firstly, we’ve discovered the profound impact of storytelling in driving change. By providing a platform for individuals to share their lived experiences, we’ve ignited empathy and understanding among our listeners. These stories have served as powerful catalysts for meaningful conversations and have challenged societal norms, paving the way for greater acceptance and inclusion. Additionally, we have highlighted the importance of recognising the intersectionality of our identities. We’ve strived to shine a light on diverse perspectives, acknowledging the varying experiences of individuals based on factors such as race, ability, beliefs, as well as gender identity and sexuality. This intersectional approach has enriched our dialogue and fostered a more holistic understanding of the challenges faced by marginalised communities.
In addition to this, we have acknowledged the significance of allyship and collaboration in effecting change. Through strategic partnerships with organisations and individuals both within and beyond the LGBTQIA community, we’ve been able to amplify our impact and reach a broader audience. By standing in solidarity with other marginalised groups, we’ve strengthened our collective voice and advocated for equality and justice on a larger scale. In summary, our journey with the LGBTQIA podcast has been a profound learning experience. Through the power of storytelling, recognition of intersectionality, and emphasis on allyship and collaboration, we’ve made significant strides in fostering inclusivity and driving change. As we continue our journey, our dedication to amplifying marginalised voices and championing equity only grows stronger.