Everyone is welcome at Tesco
21 June 2019
June marks Pride Month and the start of Pride events up and down the country. At this time of year, I’m struck by how lucky I am to live in a country where these kinds of celebrations can take place, by how far society has come in terms of LGBT+ rights, but also how far we still need to go.
One in five LGB people (and two in five trans people) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the last 12 months - with four in five of these hate crimes going unreported to the police. This is simply not good enough.
For over ten years, Tesco has been involved in Pride events across the UK. Last year, our disco Pride float lit up nearly 2,000 miles. A beacon of acceptance and diversity, it celebrated our Tesco colleagues and customers – spreading the word that everyone is welcome at Tesco.
This year, I’m delighted that once again the Tesco disco party will be attending Pride events across the UK. As well as this, I look forward to the week-long Pride celebrations taking place for all Tesco Bank colleagues. But this isn't just a party. This is about helping people to be their full selves, celebrating uniqueness and realising potential. We've come a long way in accepting differences but there is always more to do.
We’re proud of the role we play in building a more inclusive place to work, shop and bank. Over the last three years, thanks to fundraising in stores, proceeds from limited edition Pride products, and community grants from the Bags of Help scheme, Tesco has provided over £150,000 in funding to local LGBT+ charities and community groups.
Our Out at Tesco network, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe supports colleagues with everything from mentoring to career development and advice, but it also plays an important external role working with the LGBT+ community to support a range of initiatives, and in making sure that we really can meet the needs of all our customers.
As a gay man and the sponsor of our Out at Tesco Bank network, I feel privileged to be my full self in and outside work. As always, I look forward to joining my colleagues, as well as thousands of others for the fun, festivities and sense of occasion that Pride events offer. More than ever, though, I look forward to organisations like Tesco and Tesco Bank continuing to play an important role in helping to shift the LGBT+ narrative in the UK and abroad. Together, we really can make a difference, and that is something I’m most certainly proud of.