The recognition that we’ve received from Stonewall as one of Britain's top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers is the culmination of  &Proud - our 100% employee owned and run LGBT+ and allies network designed to champion LGBT+ inclusion and positive change across all areas of the business -  dedication to building a better, more inclusive, workplace for everyone.

In our regular series, ‘Five minutes with’, we catch up with some of the &Proud steerco.  This week Jonathan Palmer, Head of Social, Vizeum, discusses why networks like &Proud are important champions of change.

What do you hope placing in the Stonewall WEI top 100 achieves?

 Ultimately, I hope that it shows our staff and our clients that we aren’t just paying lip service to our pledges on diversity and inclusion. That we are passionate and willing to put the work in to make Dentsu Aegis Network an inclusive working environment, and help drive recruitment and retention. 

But also, very importantly, I hope it acts as a wake-up call to the rest of the industry to try and bring themselves up to our standard.


Why does &PROUD matter?

In order to have an environment where people can feel free to be their authentic self we need to present them a safe place,  we need to visibly show support and give them somewhere to go to for any advice and support. In addition, we need to show that you can be LGBTQ+ in our workspace and grow to senior levels.


Why is LGBT+ inclusivity essential?

It’s very easy to think that LGBTQ+ people are fine these days, they have rights and a parade of support, but when you start looking at the stats about people going back into the closet when they start a new work place, when you see the year on year rise in homo/transphobic hate crimes you start to understand why this is so important.