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How are you contributing to reducing someone else’s 5%?

I love this. It was written as part of an email by a Gay man to his entire firm for Pride month. He’s kindly allowed me to share the key messages. What struck me most is the importance of role models. It’s something that gets talked about a lot but I think it can sometimes feel like a “fluffy” initiative, when it reality it’s far from it.

I remember the profound impact it had on me personally to hear a senior female saying she’d cried in the loos. What, you have too? You don’t forget these moments and they make you stronger.

In this case the advice was equally simple and powerful.

What’s the 5% about? The “niggle”. The worry the news he was gay wouldn’t be well received. By family, and work colleagues. “Was the upside really worth the downside?”

And what could make a difference? For parents to have talked openly about respecting senior gay figures in business (like Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and gay man). For senior colleagues to mention in passing how wonderful one of their gay friends was.

Simple stuff - but with the potential to make a huge difference. Just as the crying in the loos comments did for me as a female surrounded by mostly male leadership.

There’s a lot of talk about “employees bringing their whole selves to work”. Encouraging individuals to share their experiences and insights is a really simple and incredibly effective way to help achieve this.

We’re all role models - whatever hat we happen to be wearing at a particular moment (parent, leader, colleague, friend) - and we can all play a really important part in reducing someone else’s 5%.

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