Shine is Fujitsu UK & Ireland’s LGB+ network. Launched in 2013 for our employees, the group forms a key part of our Diversity & Inclusion approach. We currently focus on lesbian, gay and bisexual topics and the + indicates everyone else is also welcome.
One of the driving forces behind this initiative is Fujitsu’s global philosophy of respecting individuals and society. We recognise and understand the importance of people feeling comfortable enough to bring their whole selves into work, which helps recruitment, retention, productivity and encourages a positive and respectful environment.
Fujitsu is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and we work closely with them to develop our approach to LGB+ equality in the workplace. Shine is one of four diversity & inclusion groups (the others specialising in gender equality, cultural diversity and disability). We are fortunate to receive visible and active support from the top of our company, with each of our groups having an Executive Sponsor. Our Executive Sponsor is Steven Cox, VP and Head of Public Sector.
Steven has been an integral factor in championing Shine by putting the case forward for inclusion in the workplace and communicating why it is of fundamental importance to Fujitsu. Steven’s proactivity in supporting our LGB+ community saw him receive a nomination in the LGBT Diversity Champion category at the prestigious British LGBT Awards, which you can read about here.
The members of Shine participate entirely on a voluntary basis. With continued support from senior members and regular progress updates, we are seeing a steady rise in members.
Our recent Diversity & Inclusion week helped to highlight that whilst we have colleagues who are supportive and have a genuine interest in finding out more about LGB+ topics, there is more that can be done. Legislation may be in place but cultural shifts do not magically occur. Fully embedding an inclusive and diverse culture into the workplace is a continual process, and it is something we all share joint responsibility for.
Shine has participated in a variety of activities and events to raise awareness of LGB+ equality and the wider inclusion in the workplace. Here are a few highlights:
- Last year we participated in both London Pride and Manchester Pride for the first time! We walked with Stonewall in London and joined the cast of Coronation Street in Manchester. We will be taking part in both again this year and I’m particularly proud that Michael Keegan, our CEO, will be joining us on the London march
- We launched the company’s first LGB-specific mentoring programme. It provides mentors and mentees with a unique opportunity where they can explore LGB-related topics and concepts in a safe and confidential environment. However it is fully inclusive and it’s ok for anyone to participate, whether the topics or the people are LGB+ or not
- For Diversity & Inclusion week and in conjunction with our other inclusion groups we hosted a series of roadshows, launched an online newsletter and held a competition to raise awareness. Colleagues from each of our network groups featured in an Inclusion video which has been received particularly well by colleagues and customers
- We participated in Student Pride for the first time this year to reach out to LGBT students. We hosted a stand with the aim of engaging with employees of the future and this gave us an opportunity to emphasise that at Fujitsu, difference is valued
With support from fellow Shine members I devised and hosted an executive event at our London head office about inclusion and motivation in the workplace. We had guest speakers including our own Steven Cox and our keynote speaker was John Amaechi, OBE. It certainly proved to be thought-provoking and we’ve received amazingly positive feedback from the guests about the value of exploring these concepts at the event.
Whilst it continues to be important to develop Shine internally, I’m also keen to extend our external network. In support of this we reach out to similar groups in other organisations and this gives us an opportunity to build new types of relationship. The great thing about LGBx groups in other organisations is their camaraderie, encouragement and support. They’re doing amazing things and we’re keen to learn more about the journeys they are also on! We also want to share what we’ve learnt with others to find different ways to engage and add value.
Ultimately I’d like us to be recognised as a benchmark organisation when it comes to delivering LGB+ diversity & inclusion for its employees and those with whom we do business.
If you are involved in an LGBx group in your own organisation, or are thinking about a career in Fujitsu and are LGB+, we would love to hear from you.
He is a BITC Business Connector alumnus, has played a leading part in development of Fujitsu’s Responsible Business and Diversity and Inclusion approach, and is engaged in enhancing Fujitsu’s UK STEM engagement approach.
Martin joined Fujitsu in October 1996.
Latest posts by Martin York (see all)
- What I’ve learned from 3+ years of Chairing Fujitsu’s LGBT+ network - November 18, 2016
- “From dull grey to technicolour” – why we’ve published a trans* inclusion guide - October 11, 2016
- Pride in London 2016: solidarity, empowerment and inspiration! - August 3, 2016