Sense of isolation led to Coventry man becoming Stonewall gay role model of the year

Sense of isolation led to Coventry man becoming Stonewall gay role model of the year
News
Posted on 12 Feb 2020

A Coventry man named Gay Role Model of the Year 2020 by LGBT charity Stonewall has revealed that it was a sense of isolation which prompted him to try and increase LGBT inclusion in his workplace. 


Carl Edwards has been honoured by the organisation after he founded the LGBT+ Network at Severn Trent - since which time he’s worked tirelessly to increase LGBT inclusion in his workplace. 

Carl has reviewed all key policies to ensure they are LGBT-inclusive, created a trans-inclusion guide, and worked with the Employee Assistance Programme to ensure they provide LGBT support and advice. 


He also influenced senior leaders to make LGBT inclusion a priority, joining Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, and has facilitated internal and external LGBT+ coffee mornings.

Carl also led and co-ordinated Severn Trent’s attendance at the Birmingham and Coventry Pride events.


Away from work, he has set up LGBTQ+ inclusive rugby team the Coventry Corsairs RFC.

Speaking about his success, design technician Carl said: “If you’re LGBTQ+ but don’t feel comfortable being yourself, everyday workplace questions like, ‘What did you do on the weekend?’ can be a source of stress if you’ve spent it with your same-sex companion.


"That’s why I decided to try and create an LGBT community, so that anybody feeling isolated, as I had been feeling, would have somewhere to belong, so that they never again needed to feel alone. 

“Over the last three years I’ve been able to create an LGBTQ+ network group, had a company-wide impact on policies, people and processes, and I’ve been involved in the creation of an LGBTQ+ Allies programme.


“Knowing we have a more inclusive workplace now not only makes me proud of this accomplishment and award, but also proud to work for Severn Trent.”

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