LGBT+ & Friends
As one of the UK’s largest and most recognisable employers we have a commitment to diversity and supporting our local communities.
The LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) & Friends steering group was established in 2015 with the goal of creating an accessible network for LGBT+ colleagues and supporters to come together and share their experiences.
The group aims to celebrate our diverse workforce, help colleagues be themselves and establish Royal Mail as the best LGBT+ employer and a true champion of LGBT+ colleagues and the wider LGBT+ community.
As Chair of the LGBT & Friends network, IR Director, Transformation, Jane Long, said her aim was to ‘create a working environment that embraces diversity allowing everybody the opportunity to be themselves every day when they come to work.
‘Having a diverse workforce helps us to understand our customers better and diverse teams perform better making the approach to problem solving more innovative and creative.’
Ricky McAulay, National Service Delivery Director and LGBT & Friends Allies network sponsor, said: ‘Being the sponsor of the LGBT & Friends Allies network has given me the opportunity to learn and celebrate the differences between us and how that brings us together.
‘The simplest tools are often the most effective - listen, be kind and be supportive.’
We have several sub-groups to help ensure that we make the biggest difference possible including the Transgender Network, Local Networks, Stonewall Workplace Index, Events (including Prides) and Communications & Learning.
Our regular newsletter covers stories from each of these areas as well as stories led by our local LGBT+ & Friends network. Since LGBT+ & Friends was established we have had several successes. These include establishing several sub-groups including the Transgender network, attending London Pride for the first time, changing the uniform ordering choices for our trans* colleagues, featuring on RMtv, and implementing changes to the external web pages to include for example, Mr & Mr and Mrs & Mrs references.
- We were the first steering group to have a stand at the Ops & Mod conference in 2015.
- We have benchmarked against other companies including ASDA and Transport for London to understand how their network groups operate.
- We attended Leicester Pride for the first time in 2015, London, Plymouth and Manchester in 2016 and London, Plymouth, Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow, Brighton, Stoke, and Sparkle in the Park to name just a few in 2017.
- In the run up to London Pride in 2016, we were very proud that we had the most interacted tweet ever on the @royalmailnews twitter feed.
- We have an ongoing Rainbow Postbox office tour.
- We had our first same-sex kiss pictured on Myroyalmail.com
- We have a fully customised Pride-themed lorry which we use as our main Royal Mail float at Pride events. It is also used in everyday service.
- We launched our first Be Like Bear campaign to raise awareness of our support for transgender colleagues, their friends, allies and managers in the workplace.
- We have charity representatives from Action for Children and Missing People who appear alongside us at Pride events.
- The Stonewall Workplace Index is a tool we can use to measure and benchmark against other companies on how well we are doing to create an inclusive workplace. In 2014 we were listed as number 363 out of 369 companies. In 2016 we ranked 291 out of 415 and in 2017 we climbed to 266 out of 439.
- We created our Allies Network in July 2019, launched by Ricky McAulay and with support of Stonewall and Gendered Intelligence.
- We now have two Royal Mail trucks, three Royal Mail vans and one Parcelforce Worldwide Sprinter wrapped in our Pride livery that are driving and delivering around the country.
- In 2019 Royal Mail Group was represented at more Pride events than ever before. The first EVER Bi Pride, UK Black Pride and Trans Pride in Brighton as well as a host of cities and towns across the UK including Belfast, Newcastle, Cardiff and London.
- In 2020, we hosted our first ever Digital Pride event. Click here to hear our Pride 2020 poem.
- The pandemic in 2020 has meant less face to face meetings and more focus on education with us recognising key dates such as International Non-Binary Day and Bisexual Visibility Day with a more learning and doing approach within our network.
- We have launched our Inclusion Top Tips guide with the LGBT & Friends network aimed at managers and Allies but for all employees to help engage and inspire.
To help us achieve our goals, we need to build strong relationships throughout the company. We have been able to influence positive conversations through senior managers by engaging them at different events and meetings and we are building up local networks to work with frontline staff, increasing engagement and awareness of the group and what we are doing.
We are really proud to support our colleagues’ LGBT+ & Friends local networks around the country through initiatives such as our network newsletter and the rainbow postbox tour as well as providing them with the tools and opportunities to participate in a meaningful way at their local Prides.
Supporting our transgender colleagues
Transgender is a term used to describe people who have a gender identity that differs from their assigned sex. Some people will realign their gender identity through the way they dress. Others might take hormones or undergo surgery. For many the social transition into a new gender is a daunting process - with the fear of rejection by friends, family and colleagues a very real risk.
Our below transgender video profiles celebrate and raise awareness of our support for transgender colleagues, their friends, allies and managers, and illustrate the unique journeys some of our employees have made transitioning.
If you have any questions about transgender issues or any other LGBT+-related subject, please contact LGBT&Friends@royalmail.com
Get in touch
You can contact us or subscribe to our newsletter by emailing: LGBT&Friends@royalmail.com. If you want to join our protected Facebook group, just email us with your pay number and the email address you use to sign into Facebook and we will send you an invite.
To set up a local network in your area, find out how you can get involved or to tell us about how we can support you in the workplace, email LGBT&Friends@royalmail.com
The bullying and harassment helpline offers confidential advice and support to our people if they are experiencing bullying or harassment at work. The 0800 58 74 777 helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Get involved and help us make a difference
If you would like to start a local group, all you need is some noticeboard space! Or if you think you can contribute more, we always need people who are happy to roll their sleeves up and help shape our vision by manning stands at recruitment fairs or simply going along to WTLL sessions to promote and engage colleagues.