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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