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How to ACTUALLY make Workplaces LGBTQ+ Friendly

To celebrate pride Month, Suria Lonsdale (Marketing Coordinator) and Charlotte Smith (Senior Client Coordinator) have teamed up to record a special episode for the Mayvin Podcast listeners on how to ACTUALLY make workplaces LGBTQ+ friendly. 
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To celebrate pride Month, Suria Lonsdale (Marketing Coordinator) and Charlotte Smith (Senior Client Coordinator) have teamed up to record a special episode for the Mayvin Podcast listeners on how to ACTUALLY make workplaces LGBTQ+ friendly. 

"As proud members of this amazing community, it's a topic that's naturally close to both of our hearts, so being given the platform to share our thoughts and feelings on how you can make your workplace a more LGBTQ+ friendly environment is both an honour and a nod to Mayvin on how right they get it!

On behalf of myself and Charlotte, thank you from us both for listening. And if you would feel comfortable in taking the time to share your experiences of what helps you feel understood in the workplace, or if you feel this podcast has enlightened you with some ways in which you can make your workplace more LGBTQ+ friendly - please do reach out and let us know, contact details bellow."



Charlotte Smith  00:48

Hello, and welcome. We have a very special episode for you today. To celebrate Pride Month, myself and Suria volunteered to speak to a subject which is close to both our hearts, how to make workplaces LGBTQ plus friendly, we reflect on what we found works, and also share some challenging experiences. We provide some great tips and insights for organisations wanting to create a genuinely safe and welcoming environment for diversity. Please do share with us your experiences and stories. We'd love to hear from you. What works well in your company? Enjoy. And thanks for listening.

Suria Lonsdale  01:38

Hey, Charlotte, 

Charlotte Smith  01:40

Hi Suria

Suria Lonsdale  01:42

It's really nice to be doing a podcast with you because we don't naturally kind of crossover within our day to day work much do we. But then this podcast that you know we're doing around how to actually make your workplace LGBTQ plus friendly, and things that actually make a workplace inclusive. They're things that I think are important, probably everyone I'd go out of my way to say it Mayvin, but then you know, it's a special place in our hearts as we are part of that community, the two of us, there's a more even more special place in our hearts for for this. So it's nice that we can kind of come together something at work and talk about something that's so important to us both. And for me certainly makes me feel like I bond with you over time. And it's just yeah, it's nice to know that we push each other to do that with so yeah, I kind of I'm glad and grateful that we have this opportunity to get involved in the Mayvin podcast together.

Charlotte Smith  02:46

Yeah, absolutely. No, it's a total pleasure to be here and talking about something that, you know, is both, like you said, close to our hearts and something that we're passionate about. I think we could both say that, you know, we are part of the community. And we're also allies, to you know, every part of the LGBTQ plus community. So yeah, it's just good just to be sitting here and having a conversation about it and recording the podcast.

Suria Lonsdale  03:12

Yeah and I think it's something as well, but I've always always really admired at Mayvin, because Mayvin is just authentically and organically an inclusive place to work, no matter what your situation who you are. And I think that that to be the case, not just in the work that Mayvin does with our clients, but also for us as the Mayvin family. It's yeah, it's just something that really, it speaks volumes. And I know I've worked in places before. And it's not natural, and it's not genuinely there. But they will try and do those cliche things to try and make it look at us we're inclusive, we're we're really diverse place to work, and then they're just not so to go from those scenarios to somewhere that it's just so organic and genuine, it's extra meaningful, and makes it feel even more, my heart's warmed to be a part of Mayvin and to be here and to feel that in the place. I work.

Charlotte Smith  04:22

Yeah, absolutely. And I must say that when we started talking about recording this podcast, it was quite difficult for me to think about what we're actually going to talk about. Yeah, because and that's a good thing. That's a positive thing, because it's always been so natural and so easy at Mayvin, you know, it was never I was never worried, you know, even from my first interview and I was I was I was so open about sharing, you know, my my scenarios and my relationship and, you know, just my lifestyle and, and I just instantly felt warmness and welcomed, you know, we just welcome people for their uniqueness and their individualities. And just it's kind of like a come as you are vibe. And we're encouraged every single day to bring our own personalities to the work that we do. And we have permission to do that. And we're reminded of that every single day. And that just genuinely makes Mayvin just such an incredible happy place to work.

Suria Lonsdale  05:36

Yeah, no, I totally agree. And I just, I think that because Mayvin is such an inclusive and warm place to work. No matter who you are, it's a place where everyone is just authentic and connected with the organisation. Because you just have that content, ness, if that's a word of knowing you. You just arrive as who you are, and that's good enough. And I've worked in places before where men couldn't have beards, or anyone could have tattoos on show was such like old fashioned principles, that certainly myself as someone who's in the same sex relationship, and, you know, we now have a child, I would have been so dreading moments of personal conversation with people within those organisations, because they were the ways in which the culture ran. So to now be, you know, couple of years in Mayvin, and to have a culture, it's totally different to that. Like being who I am, isn't uncomfortable for me anymore within my workplace. And I really, really respect and I'm grateful for that.

Charlotte Smith  06:56

Yeah, and I just something that's coming up for me now is, is our check in process that we have at our Friday meetings. And there's so many ways that that creates us as a team to be connected. And to Well, first of all, it's it's getting used to those check ins, and and what you like to bring into those those conversations and what you want to update people on, but they've just given a chance ever since I started working with Mayvin three years ago, to for people to understand me a bit more and to understand, you know, that I am in a same sex relationship, and you know, other things that go on in my life. And so it's become so natural to be able to share those personal stories. And everybody seems to be, you know, up to date with everybody's day to day lives. And I think that that makes it easier as well. It's, I remember being part of an office that nobody really had those personal connections. And it's a it's a funny story, but one of the girls went to Coachella for the weekend. So this was when I used to live in Vancouver. And she went to Coachella for the weekend. And nobody in the office knew about it apart from myself. And when she come back, like I've mentioned it to her, and somebody overheard, and everybody was like, Oh my word, you went to Coachella? Like how amazing. And I was just like baffled that they weren't in that space that they knew that something so special, Coachella being special, and such an incredible event that I just I just I just I couldn't I couldn't understand why we weren't all sharing our personal experiences. Yeah. And after that, like it was just such a nice relationship that then I made with that person. And it seemed to kind of connect people a little bit more as well, because then I felt like people were able to feel comfortable to share what was going on in their lives. But since joining Mayvin and having those check ins every weekly call. It's just it's just so natural. And first of all, it's important for us all to know what's going on in our home lives as well as you know, in our work lives as well. So that's been been a part of my journey, definitely with Mayvin. Yeah, I totally agree. I think

Suria Lonsdale  09:22

doing our weekly check ins as a team for me as well 100% adds to the positive culture and not just making Mayvin not specifying it to say the check ins are what make it an LGBTQ plus inclusive community. It just makes our workplace an inclusive community because we all just like you've just said share, and get to know each other better, and feel more comfortable ultimately with one another and knowing how we arrived personally helps us with therefore, then how we go about our day, professionally, and get on with our work and communicate with one another. So, yeah, I definitely think it's something that just helps us across the board. But digging in deeper, and tuning into, you know, our situations, it certainly takes what would have probably been a dread in previous workplaces of talking about your personal life, and turns it into something that actually you really enjoy doing because having those consistent check ins, just makes you feel so comfortable with each other, because you just know that you're on a weekly basis talking about you and your life. And with the addition of everyone at Mayvin just being so open and lovely. It really does aid in that process of being an LGBT plus friendly place to work. 

Charlotte Smith  10:54

Yeah, absolutely.

Suria Lonsdale  10:55

I think as well, what I've always really respected at Mayvin is I don't know how to summarise it, but maybe I would say just everyone seemed very mindful of their language. So to give a bit of context to that, I'm married, so I have a wedding ring. And so often, I'll walk into the doctor's surgery, or I'll be talking to just a random person on the bus, or certainly at work. I've actually had it in an interview. And they see we've got a wedding going on. And then someone says, because I am presenting as female. Oh, so what does your husband do? And instantly, you just think, oh, gosh, great. Now I've got to feel now I got to give you my life story. And it's horrible to have to feel that you've got to, you know, to a random stranger on the bus or to someone that's potentially going to be your boss, in your first interview, whatever the scenario is, is just don't, why should you have to always feel like you're in this position of just sharing your life story to someone you weren't in that moment prepared to share it with? And I noticed from the get go at me that and that has just never been the case. What happened to me? Yes, you know, sure, people have noted, oh she's got a wedding ring on. So what does your partner do, then? It's just such a mindful language. And I, I imagine you probably have the same Charlotte. But that means the world to me, because it's something I dread in other scenarios. And when it happens, I just think, oh, gosh, now I feel really uncomfortable. So to be somewhere, and work somewhere that people just don't do that to you, is lovely. And not just taking myself out of that, you know, just other people that might talk about within Mayvin might talk about their partner, you know, it's it's their partner, you don't assume that they're married just because they've said they've been together for X amount of years. And you don't assume that they've got kids because of x, y, and Z the language we use as a team and together and to one another at Mayvin, is so thoughtful, and that really doesn't go unnoticed by me. Sneaky, thank you to our fellow Mayvins Yes. But yeah, I think that's something that other companies could take on board with their with their teams and internal community as well as external community. Just be mindful of the language that you use and don't make assumptions. Think before you speak. Because actually, it means a lot to the likes of me. I feel like I'm just like, in a safe, conversational place to then talk about what I want to talk about.

Charlotte Smith  13:39

Yes, yeah. I've had a very similar experience to you within Mayvin. I've never had to come out to anybody, you know, in an awkward moment, or correct anybody when asking about husbands, or, you know, I've never had to do that with Mayvin. Yep. And I've experienced it outside of work, or outside of Mayvin. And it's just that moment, isn't it? And like you've just explained, it's like, we don't always want to have to correct or explain our lives, you know, to a person on the bus, or, you know, somebody in an interview, because it does, it does make us feel like awkward and and we don't really want to share those things at that time, maybe. But I think it's really important for us to continue educating people and I feel that maybe that one person that you do correct, then they'll be more mindful going into another conversation, hopefully in the future, and that is forefront for them. But yeah, like I said, like, like we've said, I've never had it. I've never experienced that at Mayvin because we're so good at being so mindful about when we are talking to each other when we're welcoming new new employees to Mayvin, or, you know, onboarding new associates to Mayvin. If we're all so mindful of that,

Suria Lonsdale  15:02

yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. It's really nice. Actually, what I'm sort of noticing as we're going through this is not that I take it for granted at Mayvin, but just going over it specifically dedicated some time to look at the ways in how inclusive our culture is. It just, it makes me feel like so proud and so overwhelmed with like, warm, just heard, that I've never actually had anywhere else. I've worked. And I've worked in quite a few different places, and in all different industries. And yeah, it feels really, like home to work somewhere that you can, you can say all this and it's not even, you know, there's no false-ness. I'm loving my fake words today, by the way. You know, it's not an act. It's just who Mayvin is.

Charlotte Smith  15:53

Yeah. Yeah. And we were also given the space, but also the support to really true truly be be ourselves. Yeah. And I've never worked for a company previously, where I know that this is, this is where I belong. And like, the word proud always comes to mind. Whenever I talk about working for Mayvin, sometimes it's a bit difficult to explain what Mayvin actually does, I always find that it's easier for me to explain to family and friends about the culture of Mayvin. Yes. And then to follow, and then we go to our clients, and help them you know, design and look at things within their culture, to kind of get on a par with how Mayvin are doing things. You know, we practice what we preach, don't we? Were we and we want to share that kind of like Intel of what works so well within Mayvin with with our clients.

Suria Lonsdale  17:01

Yeah, it's like, we've got a good recipe. And then yes, share that recipe. That's exactly what we're doing. Because, you know, us as Mayvin, we are just the perfect chocolate cake because our recipe, you know, it works. So now we're sharing that with the rest of

Charlotte Smith  17:21

the world just to correct the perfect chocolate cookie recipe from Carolyn. Yes, let's

Suria Lonsdale  17:28

go with that. Yeah, we are the perfect chocolate cookie recipe. Yeah.

Charlotte Smith  17:33

And we do have a recipe channel don't we that we do share. That's another culture thing that maybe is another conversation for another day. But yeah, yeah.

Suria Lonsdale  17:43

No, I totally agree. And the final thing for me that really makes me feel like Mayvin just absolutely nail it when it comes to being an inclusive place to work and genuinely making the workplace an LGBTQ plus friendly place to work. Is that when you do have your moments where you'll say, Oh, yes. So you know, you're meeting someone who just joined Mayvin for the first time, for example, and you go, Oh, yes, I've got a wife and a little one year old. And the response is never like, oh, oh, you've got a wife? Oh, I'm so shocked. I thought you would have had a husband? No one ever does that. And you just say your situation to someone? Yeah. You know, again, I'm using myself as an example again. Yeah, so I've got a wife and a little one year old, and we live better than the person at Mayvin that you are having that conversation with, the response is always lovely. And you know, they lead into just something else, just as if, you know, it's just part of the conversation. And a spectacle is not made of that a moment is not made of that unnecessarily. It's just, okay, cool. Well, on this, I've got this person in my life, I've got this pet, I've got this child, whatever it is. And again, you will probably be able to relate to Charlotte, but I've been in so many situations where, you know, it's the staff Christmas lunch, and you're sitting next to so and so from such and such team that you've never chatted to before. And again, you know that you're going to have to have that conversation. And instead of like, at Mayvin where it's comfortable. And it's just yeah, okay, cool. Well, this is me. They are, oh, it's that level of shock that they feel is acceptable and necessary to deliver to you that haunts me because the world isn't perfect. And you do still get that. But what's great is your don't get that Mayvin, so to know that this is a safe space for me to be me. And that when I do share and choose to share my life with someone. It's just gonna it's gonna be okay. Cool, like, well now do you want to hear about my life? It's not made a big deal of because yeah, that for me has just been such a trigger in past lives, specifically in the workplace is knowing that when you then tell someone about who you are in your life, it's gonna be a big deal. So yeah, I, again, really appreciate that. Within Mayvin.

Charlotte Smith  20:26

Yeah, me too me too, and yeah just you saying about it being a safe space, it is a safe space, isn't it? It's, I've never felt so safe. And so on a level with with everybody within Mayvin, and so comfortable to keep them updated about my day to day goings on? Yeah. And it's just a pleasure. And it's just so funny, because like I mentioned earlier, I did come into this podcast thinking, Oh, we probably haven't really got that much to say about like, I don't really know how to put it into words. But I really managed that real. I really feel like we've managed to articulate that. So well. Yeah. Even though we probably don't think about that every single day. And it's forefront of our minds. But I can tell by this conversation that we are super grateful for Mayvin, and how all of us within Mayvin are and how we all respond to each other in our quirks and uniqueness. Yeah. So it's just fantastic. Yeah,

Suria Lonsdale  21:25

I totally agree. I think as well. It would be so lovely to hear from the Mayvin community, and anyone that listens to this, whether you are a friend of Mayvin or not, well, you just stumbled across this, whatever your situation, it'd be lovely to know, if you've had the same noticings as what we have. Because, you know, we do know a couple of clients don't really who are fellow community members or allies and have commented on their positive experiences similar to what you and I have had Charlotte, but it'd be lovely, lovely to hear some more just just to know, you know, the impact that we're having in that respect, as well as just our day to day impact we're having just within the programmes we're delivering, etc.

Charlotte Smith  22:12

Yeah, get in touch, share stories with us. Yeah, I'm just yeah, how you how you see Mayvin? And did you find this conversation useful to have a bit of insight of what actually goes on internally within Mayvin?

Suria Lonsdale  22:26

Absolutely. And hopefully, it helps other people as well. You know, it's, it's all learning, isn't it? And hopefully, to get some insight from people who are part of the community and do work in a place where there's a really positive and inclusive workplace environment.

Charlotte Smith  22:44

Yeah. I'm always interested to know as well, even though we do think so well, here. There's, there's so much more that we can all do. Yeah. So is there any, any stories that people can share with us of what they do within their companies? That, you know, is a good suggestion for us to practice within Mayvin? Of course, we're always looking to learn and grow when? And yeah, so that would just be great to hear other people's opinions of what's what's going well in their companies.

Suria Lonsdale  23:15

Yeah, do you know what, that's so true as well. And I'm just also really grateful Charlotte, that you were willing to do this. And we could do this together. And it's something that I think I would have probably been too shy to do on my own. So to know that, you know, we can hold hands and do it together. That meant a lot to me. So a little personal thank you to you as well for being willing to participate in this. 

Charlotte Smith  23:40

Oh, that's really sweet. But yeah, it's always a pleasure, Suria, we always have fun and have good conversations. So it's a pleasure to be here and record this with you.

Suria Lonsdale  23:50

Absolutely. All right. Well, I think I think that kind of wraps us up and doesn't it unless you have any other things that you wanted to chuck in the mix? 

Charlotte Smith  23:57

No, nothing else for me. Happy Pride months. 

Suria Lonsdale  24:00

Yeah, happy pride month. Gosh, it comes down so quick every year, doesn't it? So yeah, what a perfect timing.

Charlotte Smith  24:08

Yeah, enjoy celebrating and if anybody's out there to go into any pride. Weekends, have fun. Fly that rainbow flag high in the sky.

Suria Lonsdale  24:18

Absolutely. Perfect note to end on. Thank you so much, Charlotte.

Charlotte Smith  24:23

Thank you, Suria, speak to you soon. Bye. 

Suria Lonsdale  24:26

Bye Ooooh big gay podcast. 

Charlotte Smith  24:33

hahahaha brilliant. 

Suria Lonsdale  24:36

that's absolutely being edited out Claire. Just FYI. 

Charlotte Smith  24:39

Oh, no, keep it

Claire Newell  24:42

you so much for listening to us today. And we hope to see you next time. Take care. Bye bye.

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