Celebrating Pride at Babcock – Meet Chloe Pearson!
With pride month coming to a close, Babcock continues to encourage celebrating pride and diversity throughout the workplace all year round. As a part of our commitment to supporting and creating an inclusive workplace, we have established a Pride in Babcock as one of the key pillars within our Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
This month, we interviewed Chloe Pearson, a Junior Systems Integration Technologist and one of the employees championing the Pride in Babcock pillar, to highlight the importance of promoting greater inclusivity and its purpose within our community. Through personal experience and research, Chloe’s interview gives us insight as to the current challenges which persist within the workplace.
Q: What is your role within Babcock?
CP: I’m a Junior Systems Integration Technologist working on the Victoria Class Submarines Design. I primarily work on improvements to engineering capabilities with a focus on planning to platform end of design life for system capacities and design integrity, working to provide improved solutions to our clients.
Q: What does the Pride in Babcock Committee do?
CP: Pride in Babcock is one of four pillars in our Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Pride pillar has a commitment to: create and foster a welcoming, inclusive, and accepting environment for LGBTQ2+ people and their allies within Babcock. We have a diverse group of people both members of the LGBTQ2+ community and allies, who are active participants in the pillar who meet regularly to work on a variety of initiatives to promote an inclusive work environment, increase education and raise awareness of important issues.
Q: What does being part of the Pride in Babcock Committee mean to you?
CP: Having a committee like Pride in Babcock is important to me as I believe it’s imperative we have an inclusive environment where people can thrive and be themselves, and it’s important for me to help create that culture. We didn’t have this committee when I joined Babcock four and a half years ago and it can be a little intimidating joining this industry as a woman, let alone as a gay woman! So, having a group who are committed to ensuring people like me feel welcomed and accepted creates an increased level of comfort in the workplace. I feel confident coming to work as my whole self, I get to develop genuine, meaningful relationships with those around me, and that helps me do my job better – a lot of my work relies upon collaboration and without relationships that is really hard to do.
Q: How did you get involved with this Committee?
CP: I joined the Diversity and Inclusion Committee about two years ago after I was invited to attend a meeting, and I’m now one of the committee leads. One of the first things I got involved with was planning for Pride Month 2019, I worked with a colleague to develop a Pride Trivia event which we held over lunch in a couple of locations. Everyone who attended had a good time and it was exciting to see people learning in a fun, interactive way! Since then, I’ve been active with the committee, encouraged by the way people across the business positively respond to these activities.
Q: Why is it important to talk about Pride in the workplace? What does this mean for the business?
CP: It’s important to discuss Pride in the workplace because on the one hand it’s the right thing to do, and on the other hand it’s good for business. Studies show that only half of LGBTQ2+ employees are out at work, which is really sad to think about. From a business perspective there’s a tangible difference in career progression for those members of the community who are out at work versus those who feel uncomfortable disclosing – research shows that for those on a management track only 28% of people who don’t disclose move into senior management, while 71% of out managers will make it to senior management.
I think this comes down to the ability to be comfortable at work, in who you are personally and professionally. It’s hard to excel or raise ideas if you’re distracted, uncomfortable or feel like your whole self would be unwelcomed. Arguably, a lack of inclusion limits the organization’s ability to bring various perspectives to the table, and it’s been shown in numerous studies that diverse companies are more likely to be industry leading, have better economic performance, and diverse teams are the best at coming up with creative solutions.
Q: What do you think people can do this Pride Month to help raise awareness about important issues that impact the LGBTQ2+ community?
CP: I think the best thing people can do is take interest in the issues that impact LGBTQ2+ community, self-educate and be vocal about injustice. I would encourage you to take a look at a suggested reading list, listen to a podcast about LGBTQ2+ history, or go to your favourite online newspaper and filter for LGBTQ2+ stories. When you learn something, find a friend or family member who might not know it too, and share the information with them. Taking the time to have a patient conversation with someone you know goes a long way, it helps to bring them along your journey of learning, broaden your understanding of issues, and raise awareness.
Q: What are some ways we can support our friends, family and colleagues who are members of the LGBTQ2+ community?
CP: I think there are lots of ways to be inclusive and support members of the community, mostly it comes down to creating space for the people in your lives and taking interest in the issues that impact them directly. Some of that is really simple, don’t assume someone’s orientation or gender, ask people about their “partner” not their assumed spouse and ask politely what their pronouns are. Accept you might make mistakes and that it’s okay to, but be open to learning. Treat people as you would want to be treated, don’t avoid someone because you are unsure how to navigate their orientation or gender, don’t be a bystander, and don’t be dismissive if you think people are making a big deal out of something. For a lot of members of the community there are issues that impact their day to day lives, or they’ve experienced some level of harm due directly to being LGBTQ2+, so be aware and sensitive to that and open to listening and learning.
Thank you Chloe for your insights and your commitment to promoting a workplace that is inclusive and diverse.