Pride Month 2020 at MBDA
‘Pride at MBDA’ is our employee network initiated by colleagues who are passionate about creating an inclusive culture. One where all our employees can be themselves at work whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is open to everyone irrespective whether they identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) or not.
During Pride month co-chairs of the network, Howard Borrington and Lee Kilby, shared articles about significant LGBTQ events. Howard wrote about the horrible event that occurred on 12th June 2016 at the Pulse Night in Orlando, Florid and its legacy. Lee looked back at how Pride began back in 1969-70 and at the history of LGBTQ+ rights, helping to further explain why Pride Month every June is so important.
Colleagues were also updated on the Gender Recognition Act Reform following a recent ministerial announcement. Links to information and resources were also provided to help readers research the issue and be aware of the arguments being made from both sides.
Global Pride Day took place on the last weekend of the month on Saturday, 27th June. Network members celebrated by taking part in a virtual event hosted by the newly formed ‘Pride in Defence’ network.
Howard Borrington explains how this “network of networks” came about: “Earlier this year defence company QinetiQ brought the LGBTQ+ employee networks of a number of defence and aerospace companies together with those from the MoD and the Armed Forces at an event to discuss a variety of ways in which the networks could learn from, and collaborate with, each other. The event was very inspiring and further connected Pride at MBDA with the networks of organisations such as BAE Systems, Airbus, QinetiQ, Lockheed Martin and AWE, for example, as well as with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), MoD Police, the RAF, Royal Navy and Army. All the networks are at different stages of their journey and strategic objective to provide employees and personnel with a truly inclusive workplace where everyone can be themselves and contribute to their maximum. Pride at MBDA is continuing to learn from others as well as sharing its own experience since the launch of its Pride network early in 2019.”
With many physical events cancelled due to COVID 19 - Pride at MBDA employee network members were planning to march in London Pride 2020 - Pride in Defence had been looking at what alternative options could be offered to still enable the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate and engage with each other. And so the idea of holding a Virtual Pride over Zoom was born and the event took place on June 27th.
Virtual Pride, which also helped fundraise for a number of LGBTQ+ related charities, featured educational discussions on transgender and bi-sexual awareness, a musical performance from the London Gay Men’s Chorus, drag and burlesque performances by some special guests, interactive games and lip syncing to close the event.
Some our own Pride at MBDA committee took part too and Lee Kilby said: “It has been a truly amazing experience working with Pride in Defence to prepare this Virtual Pride event. The level of passion, commitment and team spirit to making the event a success has been incredible. It was a great privilege to host the initial event in the entertainment room and read the warm comments in the chat discussion. I then entered the awareness room and my heart swelled with pride as I listened to Ivy – one of our own network committee members - speaking on Trans and gender identity matters. A fabulous day with no apologies for my lip sync performance!”
You can follow Pride in Defence using Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/prideindefence.
If you are interested in reading more about the Pride at MBDA network you can read some of our previous articles here:
MBDA IS PROUD TO RECOGNISE IDAHOBIT
Ivy Speight shared how our Pride at MBDA network, which celebrates sexual and gender diversity at MBDA, made a difference for her.
POWER IN NUMBERS: WHY I'M PROUD TO CHAMPION THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY
A guest blog from MBDA Pride Network representative for Stevenage, Adam Carter
INTRODUCING THE MBDA PRIDE NETWORK
We are pleased to share the launch of Pride at MBDA, an employee network supporting and representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) employees and their Allies.