Increasingly brands want to be perceived as inclusive and progressive. But when it comes to supporting the LGBT+ community, many brands just want to appear to be LGBT-friendly merely to reap the economic benefits. But increasingly brands who simply join in with the ‘rainbow flag soup’ are becoming easy to see through because of their lack of authenticity.
Companies need to start taking the diversity agenda seriously, not only for the sake of their employees, but because they need to be more aware of changing consumer opinions particularly in younger customers who have more liberal social attitudes.
A true LGBT+ connection should to go way deeper than the rainbow flag. It should be part of a larger story of diversity and inclusion, something that should be invested in every day not just during Pride celebrations.
Brands should support because they truly believe and are prepared to commit to try to make a difference and to drive change. With authenticity, brands can create proper, meaningful connections with the LGBT+ community. And as advocates, brands can contribute to changing parts of the world where LGBT+ rights are lagging behind.
We would like to applaud our client Birkett Long LLP (BL) for being one of those brands that truly invest in the LGBT+ community. Last week they changed their logo in their signage and on their social channels to feature the Pride rainbow in support of Essex Pride. BL were of course in attendance at this year’s Essex Pride as they have been for a number of years.
The fact that it is not a risk to reflect diversity in marketing was something we talked about with the team at BL earlier in the year during a strategy and planning meeting.
Associate & Marketing Manager at BL, Jennie Skingsley said “At Birkett Long, it’s long been our intention to reflect the LGBT community in all our activity, not just a small subset of communication. The law is the law – it’s all about being human and approachable for everyone. We just can’t believe that in 2018 certain parts of our society feel uncomfortable seeking professional advice.”
Back in 2009, BL was approached by (the now disbanded) Essex Gay Men group. The group was seeking sponsorship in order to fund the running of their website. In response to BL’s support, EGM created a section on their website which was populated with specially written literature for the LGBT + community and a video outlining BL services.
Since then, they have also met with Outhouse East, a charity that aims to provide support to individuals and communities to enhance knowledge, awareness and confidence through counselling and LGBT+ awareness sessions. BL offered their members similar services.
With their services for the LGBT+ community now in their tenth year, the connection still continues to run deep. Last week, Molly Frankham, a Colchester dispute resolution solicitor, was appointed as the latest trustee of Outhouse East.
Solicitor Molly Frankham said: “I consider it incredibly important that each and every person is treated equally and with the upmost respect. Looking at the LGBT+ community, I have friends and family who have had experiences which fall far short of this. As a result, these experiences affect the way they live their lives and this is not right.”
Birkett Long is committed to ensuring that all clients, members, employees, job applicants and others are treated fairly. The firm promotes equal opportunities and aims to eliminate discrimination in the workplace, promoting a harmonious environment where everyone is treated with respect.