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Our LGBTQ+ Pride network lead, Luke Jonas, talks about the role the network plays at LV=

Luke Jonas has worked at LV= for almost 19 years and is currently a Senior Auditor. He is also lead for the Life and Pensions LGBTQ+ Pride network. This National Inclusion Week, Luke talks about the work the network do.

What is the role of the LGBTQ+ Pride Network?
The network plays a number of roles at LV=. We act as an advisory group to different business areas, helping them to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion. For example, we’ve worked with our HR team to review internal People Policies and ensure they are inclusive of same sex couples. Members of the network have also been involved in reviewing our customer literature making sure it includes diverse examples in both imagery and examples of how products work.

Additionally, we do fundraising work with external charities and have invited speakers in to talk about key LGBTQ+ events. We’ve also been speakers ourselves at external events in our local communities.

What sort of initiatives does the network run?
Within LV= we try to keep a fresh mix of what we do to being an inclusive network. We have a strong focus on education. Language can be a mine field so we aim to speak openly with all our people. We aim to dispel myths and make conversations about LGBTQ+ issues something everyone can get involved in. We like make learning about LGBTQ+ history engaging by having socials and quizzes.

Within our communities we’ve worked with some local charities offering them time to come in a talk to our people about the work they do. There are many local charities that rely on the support and kindness of people so it’s good to be able to give back. We also worked with the founder of Queer Britain, an LGBTQ+ museum, and offered some of our support in the early days of setting up the charity.

What’s been your highlight?
I have to say having a great turn out at the Bournemouth Pride parade was a highlight. It was nice to see so many LV= employees and their family join us in the parade. Hopefully we’ll get back to another one when things return to normality.

What challenges have you faced?
As a white, gay male I have to say the challenges are becoming less and less – in the LGBTQ+ community I know I have a lot of privilege. The few struggles I face are less compared to that of trans+ people, for example. For me it’s important that I keep myself educated on the challenges other people in the community face. And while I’m the one writing this story, I always make an effort to make sure we hear from other voices in the LGBTQ+ community.

What would you like to see in the future for the network?
It would be great to do even more for the wider community. There are some great organisations helping LGBTQ+ people and youth and I’d like to see us support them further.