The path towards equality in the workplace remains long and winding, and #CorporateQueer aims to spotlight LGBTQIA+ issues.
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY FIONA FREUND, #CORPORATEQUEER.
In need of some weekend culture? Have a gander at #CorporateQueer, a brand new photography exhibition highlighting the stories of LGBTQIA+ professionals. Curated by Jennie Ricketts, former picture editor of Observer Life magazine, and with images shot by Fiona Freund, it will be taking place from 10 September at 3 Finsbury Avenue, Broadgate, EC2.
#CorporateQueer provides an insight into what it means to be queer in the workplace. Displaying more than 50 large portraits of LGBTQIA+ professionals, it features images of Linda Riley, publisher of DIVA, the Right Honourable Lord Smith of Finsbury, Carla Matthews, partner at Begbies Traynor Group, and more, with plans for several portraits to be projected onto landmark buildings.
#CorporateQueer explores the meaning of being queer in the workplace whilst acknowledging the specific needs that LGBTQIA+ people have with regards to equality, inclusion and safety. Work is an area of LGBTQIA+ life rarely discussed, and whilst lists such as Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers help queer and trans people to navigate their career paths, corporate life remains a challenge for many.
Expressing identity to employers can be difficult: 20% of LGBTQIA+ people aren’t out at work, 50% of transgender employees continue to hide their identity and, sadly, 70% of LGBTQIA+ people have been sexually harassed in the workplace. Clearly, the path towards equality in the workplace remains long and winding, and #CorporateQueer aims to platform these issues.
Jonathan Brookes, senior asset manager and chair of British Land’s Pride Alliance, states: “We are delighted to host the ‘Corporate Queer’ exhibition at Broadgate… It is a fantastic opportunity to represent and recognise LGBT+ contribution to the world of work.” Whilst this year’s Pride in London, due to take place on the 11 September, has been cancelled, #CorporateQueer provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on LGBTQIA+ rights, specifically with regards to enhancing queer and trans visibility in the corporate world.
Further, the Right Honourable Lord Smith of Finsbury reflects on what it means to be LGBTQIA+ in politics: “When I made the speech in Rugby back in 1984 that marked the first public coming out of a British MP, the thing I wanted to emphasise was the fact that anyone, no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identification happened to be, could do an equally good job as anyone else working for Rugby Council. And the same was true, I felt, for MPs.”
#CorporateQueer runs until the 24 September. Entry is free, so run, don’t walk, DIVAs!
Visit wearemoi.net/corporate-queer for more info.
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