Magenta has always prided itself on being inclusive and being a big supporter of a fairer, more equitable financial services sector.

As regular readers of our blog will know, it’s important to us to be a voice for women in financial services (both in encouraging more women to become financial planners and also looking after many female clients) and alongside our work in this area we’re always working hard to be a fair employer, adjusting recruitment processes and considering how we can develop a more inclusive workplace.

Last year we decided there was an extra step we could take and this was to support the LGBT community.

We wanted to expand our knowledge in an area which isn’t often talked about openly in our profession – and in which – we had a small amount of knowledge, but were by no means well educated.  As a result, myself and Gretchen signed up for the LGBT Champions course with The LGBT Foundation.

When we were first told it was a 20-hour course, I have to admit to being surprised. What could there be to know that took 20 hours?

I was also apprehensive, what if I said the wrong thing, offended someone or worse still, what if I did not agree with the things we were being taught?

I soon found out that I had nothing to worry about! 20 hours was, in fact, only scratching the surface of this topic and that I would have enjoyed finding out even more! We met other participants who came from a range of sectors and learnt that many organisations, like ourselves, wanted to become more inclusive and have a better understanding of what we can do to promote change.

The course covered numerous aspects such as the law and legal rights applicable, what it means to be a good ally, barriers faced by the LGBT community and what measures we need to put in place to be an inclusive company, adviser, and employer.

It has helped us with understanding terms, pronouns, relevant questions to ask, awareness of challenges and frustrations faced by the LGBT community, and most importantly, being able to offer a safe space in our workplace.

Why does becoming an LGBT champion matter? 

Most of us know someone or will have someone come into our lives who identifies within the LGBT community. It will be very important to this person that we can be there for them and if we don’t understand some things, we show willingness to learn.

This is very relevant as an employer and service provider.

We want to know that the Magenta office is a safe space, that the Magenta team is inclusive and that the Magenta service is fair and equitable.

Dedicating our time to become Champions demonstrates we want to be part of the movement for change and give a voice of support to the LGBT Community.

We will be rolling out training to the remaining members of the Magenta team this year and we will be implementing a Mission Statement for Inclusivity. 

So here is our pledge for 2022-23:

  1. We will put LGBT dates in our diary and ensure we acknowledge and celebrate them
  2. We will ensure all recruitment is LGBT inclusive
  3. We will adopt pronoun use in the office as standard to reduce stigma around gender pronouns
  4. We will actively talk about the need for greater diversity and inclusion in our profession
  5. We will introduce nonbinary answers to questionnaires where it is in our ability to do so
  6. We will ensure all staff are trained and follow the inclusive policy
  7. We will always keep open minded to changes that can be made
  8. We will ensure we are always supportive and open minded

The list isn’t exhaustive, and we will continue to adapt and change where we can.

Your LGBT Champions:

Allyson Hopkins – SILVER                                             Gretchen Betts – GOLD