Zoe Jenkins, Procurement Development Leader explains the importance of Pride month and how the support the events give really help.
June marks the start of Pride month uniting LGBTQ+ people around the globe to celebrate their identities, reflect on how far our community has come and what more there is still to do to reach equality. It is important for me as a gay woman working in Rolls-Royce to see us mark the month with our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) running events to help raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and let employees engage with how they can support the community both in and out of work. Whilst it may seem like all the rainbows and flags outside sites may be more for show than making change, I can speak from personal experience as to how important these visual displays of Pride are to people.
I’m Zoe Jenkins & I joined Rolls-Royce in 2014 and I am currently working as a Procurement Development Leader in our Submarines business. I grew up in a small rural village where there was very little visible diversity at my schools and in my community and although it took me quite a long time to recognise what it was, I always felt a little different. From my teens I knew I was gay, but I didn’t have the courage to say anything. There was one out person in my High School; they were relentlessly bullied for that and I didn’t want to face the same things they faced each day. I internalised a lot of that fear and shame, deciding that staying in the closet seemed like the safest idea.