When I started my career, I looked around at the leadership and my colleagues for signs that it would be "ok to be gay" but found none, which pushed me back into the closet. This changed for me at BP where we have an openly out gay CEO for the trading business. It gives me courage and also the expectation that being gay will not impact my career.
Within BP, we have BP Pride – a business resource group which works with the business to ensure BP is a leader in LGBT and creates an inclusive environment for its LGBT employees. Its work can be distilled into three distinct areas: talent attraction, development and retention. I'm proud to co-chair the network.
We all grow up with our heroes – whether it’s Superman or Spiderman – regardless of our sexuality but when we grow up and enter our working life, it’s important for us to look up and see people we can relate to, people who may have had the same experiences or fears but managed to break through and become successful.
We promote all development opportunities through the pride network, provide mentoring opportunities for our members and are currently working with HR to implement a talent pipeline where we will be able to track LGBT staff development and provide support in areas where it is most needed. We have also embedded LGBT tags within our graduate resourcing teams.
Along with the other BP Pride executives, I am the bridge to help close the gaps we see in the business. This could range from providing support to our leadership teams, globally, in which language to use, helping a new member of staff integrate, help HR build their policies or simply to organise career development events for our staff. I ensure we are leading in this space so that we get the best talent that is out there.