Here at The Missing Link, we celebrate our diverse team members every day – and this month, it’s all about acknowledging their unique contribution to our business in a bigger way.

For example, did you know diverse perspectives have been shown to boost creativity and innovation? What about the fact that diverse teams are better at making business decisions 87% of the time? These are just small snapshots of the ways diversity can enrich our environment and strengthen our business and relationships.

For us, Pride Month means much more than just switching our logo out for a rainbow version for 30 days. Sure, we won’t turn our nose up at it – but rainbow washing isn’t the solution to genuine, equal representation of the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s about walking the walk and living our values 24/7/365. It’s about showing up for individuals with diverse identities without fail and being advocates, not just spectators.

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As part of our Pride Month celebrations, we invited employees who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to share their perspectives on inclusivity in the workplace, what allyship means to them and how they're celebrating Pride Month. So, let’s explore their insights…

Matt Hickey, Head of Marketing 

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How do you identify?

I identify as a gay man. Earlier this year I married Andrew, my partner of 15 years.

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month?

This month, I will be living my life as normal. For me, Pride isn’t something to be acknowledged over a month – it’s a year-round celebration of who we are, and how far we’ve come to adjust to our diverse communities.

How do you bring your whole self to work?

For me, bringing my whole self to work is all about being transparent, honest, and real. I don’t hide behind someone that I’m not. I’m proud of who I am and how far I’ve come in life, so it’s only natural that being myself is the only way I know how.

The main ways I’m authentic about my identity include being open about who is in my life and what I do in my personal time, sharing experiences that aren’t necessarily relatable to everyone and highlighting insights about gay life (often these make my team belly laugh!).

I feel that by conducting myself in this way, people know who I am and what I stand for.

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you?

A few key ingredients for an inclusive workplace include accepting diversity with no prejudice or judgment, supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, and considering everybody no matter gender identity or sexual orientation as one.

How can we be better allies?

Sometimes, the best type of allyship is subtle and quiet. We can be better allies by representing those who are less confident identifying who they are and making them feel accepted and represented without them even having to say anything at all.


Karen Drewitt, Chief Operating Officer 

Tara Hogan (3)
 
What made you become an ally?  

I became an ally when I saw the discrimination some of my close friends felt firsthand. Immediately, I wanted to be part of the movement change that for them and anyone else who identifies as part of a diverse community. 

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month?  

I’ll be showing my support in any way I can. I love that The Missing Link is celebrating Pride month – it is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate diversity.  

I’m so proud when I walk through the office and see the Pride Flag flying, team members organising Pride Month Morning Tea and colleagues getting involved in blogs like this one. 

Has there ever been a real-life situation where you spoke up for someone who is underrepresented? How did you approach it?  

Yes, many times. Like any difference of opinions, conversations need to be respectful. Education and the principles of equality and treating people with dignity are really important to me. 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you?  

Inclusive workplaces make people feel encouraged to bring their whole selves to work and celebrated for the diversity they add. I am so proud of the diversity (in its many forms) at The Missing Link.  

We work every day to ensure our culture is as inclusive as possible. It’s of utmost importance to us that nobody is, or should, feel excluded simply because of who they are or what they believe in. 

How can we show our allyship by promoting diversity in the workplace?  

It starts with hiring on merits, but allyship can have the biggest impact when you make people feel included once they’re part of the team. 


Tara Hogan, Security Inside Sales Support 

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How do you identify?

I am a proudly bisexual woman! 

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month?

Pride month for me is about educating oneself on the other members of my community and their experiences. While I won't be out partying (read: socialising), I enjoy reading books by LGBTQIA+ authors - for example, I will be reading the novel 'Less' by Andrew Sean Greer & memoir/report 'Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex' by Angela Chen. 

How do you bring your whole self to work?

I have always been very open about my sexuality and experiences as a member of the community, which I bring with me everywhere. I will happily share this with coworkers and anyone else who wants to know (as long as the questions are respectful of course)! 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you?

Inclusive workplaces start with the atmosphere. A welcoming atmosphere of mutual respect is what makes me comfortable asking questions and being myself; I consider myself so lucky that The Missing Link has that in spades! 

How can we be better allies? 

The biggest thing I can suggest is - educate yourself! While I am happy to answer questions about my experiences, not everyone is comfortable or capable sharing. The Internet contains an incredible amount of information - don't rely solely on the LGBTQIA+ members you know to answer your questions when there are countless accounts online. Also, be respectful with your lines of questioning. Just because you are curious, it doesn't entitle you to hear about our private lives. 


Mark Davidson, General Counsel

Tara Hogan

What made you become an ally? 

My parents. My mother was a ballet dancer and my father an English teacher, so I was always surrounded by a diverse crowd and took it at face value.  

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month? 

I’ll be supporting my children – one of my children identifies as non-binary, and my daughter who is bisexual.  

Has there ever been a real-life situation where you spoke up for someone who is underrepresented? How did you approach it? 

There have been many situations over the years! In the 80’s, I used to attend Mardi Gras where there were quite violent people who used to come into the city and do terrible things. Sometimes, I found myself standing between them and their targets.  

Fortunately, it’s not the same nowadays and we’ve come a long way since then – but there’s still a way to go. 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you? 

Like The Missing Link! Welcoming to different sorts of people irrespective of their personal preferences, which have nothing to do with their work or skills. 

How can we show our allyship by promoting diversity in the workplace? 

We can show allyship by implementing a diverse hiring policy – which hires on merit and ignores personal attributes unrelated to quality of work. 


Anonymous Developer at The Missing Link 

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How do you identify?

I’m usually quiet about it but I am: 

  • asexual 
  • aromantic 
  • cisgender 
  • male 
What are you doing to celebrate pride month? 

I’ll passively keep an eye out for pride events. They’re fun. Pride itself is not central to who I am but it is nice to enter a space where everyone can be themselves and no one assumes that I am straight. 

How do you bring your whole self to work?

I display subtle hints that I am asexual (ace) at work and elsewhere. Other aces might pick up on it. I make more obvious hints when someone assumes that I am straight. 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you? 

It is the little things that make a difference. An inclusive workplace might have an LGBTQIA+ group along with Teams messages or wall posters about upcoming events. Staff will feel comfortable with pride flags at their desks. Company policies include anti-discrimination. 

How can we be better allies? 

As someone with a relatively uncommon identity, I am prepared to answer questions and explain what it means to be ace, and I appreciate it when someone listens without making assumptions. Passing on the knowledge of what it is like to have an uncommon identity might help someone else who would otherwise have struggled to find their own identity. 

I’m always pleased to see allies attending pride events at work. It shows that there is a safe network of team members in the workplace. I will notice it when you display hints of your allyship just like I display hints of my ace identity. 

When I was closeted at a previous workplace, the pride events happened around me and I did not get involved. Opening an anonymous communication channel allows closeted voices to be heard. 


Matthew Warner, Business Development Manager 

Tara Hogan (1)

What made you become an ally?   

The majority of the LBGTQI friends I have hold opinions and beliefs the same or very similar to mine. 

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month?  

I’ll be taking part in a few activities in the areas I live in and expressing my solidarity loudly when conversations come up. 

Has there ever been a real-life situation where you spoke up for someone who is underrepresented? How did you approach it?  

Yes. I present the case for inclusion with reasoned arguments and with passion. 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you?  

Like the workplace here at The Missing Link! 

How can we show our allyship by promoting diversity in the workplace?  

There are many ways we can show our allyship, including: Arguing for the value of diversity in society and in the workplace, acknowledging the diverse members of our organisation, supporting events in the workplace that are occurring this month and maintaining that active support throughout the year. 


Clare Burman-Reynard, Sales Manager 

Tara Hogan (2)

How do you identify?  

Pansexual. I’m into the wine, not the label! 

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month?  

Spending time with my family; my wife and 2 daughters. We’ll be paying extra attention to bedtime stories that celebrate rainbow families and diversity. 

How do you bring your whole self to work?  

I’m comfortable sharing my personal life, my sexuality, and my beliefs within the workplace… I met my wife at work, I bring her with me. Without her, I am not my whole self. 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you?  

One that celebrates diversity and encourages all humans to be the best version of themselves. 

How can we be better allies?  

Share our stories. 


Aaron Bailey, Chief Information Security Officer 

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What made you become an ally? 

As a geek, I was bullied quite a lot and quite hard at school (being hospitalised at one point). As I became physically stronger, to fight back and regain the 'balance of power', I temporarily became the bully.  

My parents taught me hard that this was not acceptable and enrolled me in Karate (Zen Do Kai and then Kyokushin) to learn both self-defence and respect. After 7 years, two black belts and teaching others, it and my parents instilled in me confidence with respect to all. 

Ever since then, I've not liked bullies been an ally for any human who shows empathy and care to other humans.  

What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month? 

I’m a keen participant in any workplace events and initiatives for Pride Month to showcase to the team I’m an ally – for example attending our upcoming Pride Month morning tea and participating in this blog post. 

Has there ever been a real-life situation where you spoke up for someone who is underrepresented? How did you approach it? 

Yes, multiple times. I have many friends in the LGBTQIA+ community and once went to the UK to attend 2x same-sex weddings on the same trip.  

I can quite often talk people down or to a more positive approach and I'm also ok with telling people that their response/language/actions are 'not ok' in my view, if I think they may be coming from a place of intolerance. Sometimes people can be very closed-minded or set in their ways, so rather than escalate to conflict I would typically align with that person who was 'underrepresented' and instead distance myself from the 'bully'. 

What does an inclusive workplace look like to you? 

To me, an inclusive workplace is one where people from all backgrounds (race, age, gender, religion, or identification) are welcomed to join, prosper, and contribute to the diversity and success of the organisation. 

How can we show our allyship by promoting diversity in the workplace? 

Speak up and contribute! Try to be part of the solution rather than the problem to make the world a slightly better place than you found it.


Our incredible Pride Month Cake, courtesy of @meldymakescakes

 

For more information about diversity and inclusion at The Missing Link, and how we strive to cultivate positive team environments, click here. 

Author

Rhiannon Kenyon