Tash Wright has spent the last decade working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, with a career spanning over six different roles, she has seen the company grow and learn as she has done the same. Now their Senior Assistant Collections Coordinator, she spoke to myGwork about how they have been able to push forward diversity, equity and inclusion, and the role of their LGBTQ+ network, Enterpride, in making this happen
Tash Wright joined Enterprise a decade ago and for her to dedicate her career to the company it must be doing something right. She explains that a big part of choosing to remain with Enterprise is its ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Having been at previous companies where she was met with negative comments and stigma, she understands just how important this is.
Not long after joining the Enterprise team, Tash was encouraged by a colleague to join Enterpride, the company’s LGBTQ+ network. At the time, she was still figuring out her own identity and how she fit into the LGBTQ+ community. Joining the network gave her the opportunity to ask questions, freely explore herself, and learn along the way.
“I’ve always felt very comfortable being my authentic self at Enterprise. When I first joined, I wasn’t entirely sure of my identity, but I’ve been working here through my whole journey of discovery. Throughout the years I have had support and friendship from the LGBTQ+ committee that has helped me to come out fully and be comfortable with who I am.
Growing up, LGBTQ+ identities weren’t visible, so having a workplace where they are visible and talked about makes a big difference. I think companies need to show that they’re willing to create an open atmosphere. It’s all about transparency, communication, and showing that you’re willing to be there for your employees.”
Now, eight years later, she is able to do this for countless others across the company. Based in its European Corporate office in Egham
, Tash has proudly been a driving force behind Enterpride over the years. As part of her role within the network, she organises events, raises awareness and is constantly coming up with fresh ideas on how they can continue to push for LGBTQ+ equality. On top of this, she recently spoke on a panel discussing the interlink between LGBTQ+ identities and mental health and is currently working to shine a light on bisexual visibility and trans rights.
Reflecting on her own journey, Tash realises that not being comfortable being yourself in the workplace has a knock-on effect on your mental health and other areas of your life. From being told her sexuality was “just a phase”, to other negative reactions, she knows just how deeply wounding these seemingly innocuous comments can be.
“That negative experience really pushed me back into my shell. It made me not want to have conversations with certain people and it was awkward, creating this unnecessarily tense atmosphere, where it feels tense just to be yourself. So, naturally, that has an impact on how you feel outside of work too; you then might not be comfortable coming out in other areas of your life.”
Tash has also buried her own identity and mental health struggles, admitting this led to a boiling point that significantly impacted her personal life. This drove her to reach out for help and attend counselling, which allowed her to let go of worrying about what other people think, and instead focus on her own life and what she’s doing.
This journey has put her in a good position to now support others and normalise conversations on mental health. Her position in the network also means often people will come to her and she wants to make sure that she can be someone they can lean on.
“It’s about being able to say: ‘Look I’m here for you,’” says Tash. “I don’t know what it’s like to be in certain positions, but when someone needs support, I will do my best to research ways to help and just show up for them. If you can just empathise and create a space where people feel welcome to come up to you about something they need to get off their chest, then that can be enough. If someone comes to me, I will always do my best to alleviate some of those fears or anxieties. It’s about showing you’re approachable and that you’re willing to listen.”
Visibility is key to people feeling supported and feeling as though they can reach out and ask for support, explains Tash. This is something she has seen become more widespread at Enterprise over her career. Now she is dedicated to expanding that conversation to include the nuances of intersectional identities and experiences.
Over the last ten years, Tash has found more than just a career with Enterprise but community – a space in which she can be herself and focus on her career without hiding who she is. Through this, she has also offered community to those around her, whether it’s a dedication to growing their LGBTQ+ network or being someone that others can lean on for support. The journey for equality is ongoing, and spaces where we can be loud and visible in our identities, are just as vital as those where we can go for a confidential chat, and both are needed to create workplaces where everyone feels comfortable being their authentic self.
“For me, it’s small things like knowing I can put my wedding photos on the back of my screen and not have to worry. It creates a warmer atmosphere which makes me want to bring the best version of myself to the company each day.”
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