The positive effect that BP pride can have on LGBT members
- 3 Min Read
Daniel Sprich, Co-chair at BP pride talks about the benefits of BP pride, and how this can aid LGBT+ employees in feeling comfortable in the workplace
Recent reports have showcased the significance of LGBT inclusion, with a report revealing that 35% of LGBT members don’t feel comfortable or included at work. Daniel Sprich who has had a number of years experience working for BP talked to us about how BP pride has been beneficial to him and his career.
Daniel goes on to talk about his previous struggles with being comfortable in a work environment, he says “ In my career prior to joining BP, I didn’t have the courage to be out at work because the environment didn’t feel right. I experienced how difficult it was not bringing my whole self to work, and how much companies lose out on employees’ potential when they are constantly worrying about what they can and can’t say about their personal lives. Luckily, I have never felt this way in the seven years I’ve worked at BP. I put this down to two things: firstly, BP’s culture of respect, which encourages employees to be themselves at work, and secondly, my involvement in BP Pride. BP Pride is a Business Resource Group (‘BRG’) within BP which aims to help LGBT employees feel confident and safe at work.” It is common for many LGBT employees to feel uncomfortable at work. As many feel this may have a negative impact on their career.
Daniels introduction to BP pride started quite early into his career, he says “My involvement in BP Pride started when I first joined the company in 2011. I came across the group at an employee day in Sunbury, where I’m currently based. BP Pride is one of many BRGs – these are networks run by, and for, BP employees to support diversity and inclusion. I would say the main purpose of BP Pride is to help LGBT employees feel confident and safe at work and enable them to fulfil their full potential. We also want to positively influence the attraction, recruitment, retention and development of LGBT people at BP.”
BP Pride has been developed into a trusted business partner, and have spent years working with HR in an attempt to create a programme specifically for LGBT members, this is called ‘Safe Space’. Since being launched, this programme has been an immense success, with BP training over 3,000 participants globally. This programme gives people an understanding of the challenges LGBT employees face in the workplace. Lucy Knight, HR VP, corporate business activities and functions talks about the reasoning behind this focus on LGBT inclusion, saying “It’s really straightforward: at BP, we believe that people are more likely to enjoy going to work and perform better, if they’re allowed to be themselves – and that obviously includes being open about their sexuality”.
In terms of his career, Daniel’s involvement with the processes within his business has helped in to significantly improve. He says “BP Pride has helped me develop skills outside of those required for my day-to-day role. From building leadership and influencing skills through my role as Co-Chair to networking with people across the company, I have grown professionally through my work with BP Pride. It’s a fantastic network in which we can share our experiences and learn about BP as an organisation. I have met so many people from across the organisation whom I would not have met without BP Pride.”