The co-op - It Gets Better Today

Uploaded by stonewalluk on 30.11.2010

George: Hi, I’m George Meudell, and I work for the co-operative
in our funeral care business. I also head up our Respect LGBT
network, which is made up of LGBT colleagues throughout all
of our different business areas, be it food, pharmacy, bank, travel, funerals, and I work with Jason.
Jason: Hi, my name’s Jason Totten, and I work at the co-operative
in the financial services business. I also sit on the LGBT
network group, representing the products across all our group of businesses.
George: I think it’s really important for us to be here, and to
show our support for the campaign as the Co-Operative. We
know it’s difficult at any age, as a gay man, to come out and be
yourself, but I think it’s really important that that happens early,
that you can come out and be yourself in the school
environment, the education environment, but then also that you
can feel supported in the work environment. And we at the co-operative,
value anybody coming into our business, and we respect
them for who they are, regardless of sexual orientation. We
have to create a culture where people can feel they can be
themselves, and can come out in the workplace, and that will
have no detrimental effect on how we treat them.
Jason: I’d take it back to when I first joined the co-operative
when I was 21 years old, and I was quite apprehensive joining
the financial services business, with the badges that normally
come with that boyish, bullish environment, and I was taken
aback and surprised at how much they embraced my diversity,
and encouraged me to perform based on my actual
performance rather than the badge that I wear.
George: We do a lot of work with schools, we do a lot of work
in communities, we are very focused on individuals and
communities across the UK and we think it is really important to
support young people into the work place and give them an
idea of what it might look like when they get a full time job and
that their sexuality doesn’t have to impact in any way, in a
negative way, on their success in the work place. For us, and
for me as the head of the LGBT network, working with the
business to create an environment of inclusion, to create a
culture of diversity is really important and that can start from an
early age in school by everybody being themselves, being
different and people respecting that.
Jason: I think for me as well if I look at my career at the
co-operative I have always been encouraged based on the
talent that I have and developed and coached and just
because I’m a gay man has never had any detriment to that
and they’ve encouraged me, and I’ve been promoted and I’ve
done quite well at this point in my career and look forward to
continuing that. Especially together with George and the guys
and working on the LGBT network and being able to promote
co-operatives diversity, not just in terms of sexuality but their whole agenda.
George: I think it is difficult to come out at any age, you are
always coming out, aren’t you, you are coming out in the
workplace, when you’re younger, to your parents, to different
people, but the more you do it the more it gets easier and the
more we are creating a diverse culture from a very early age
and we will create a diverse country and I think that is what this
campaign is all about.
Jason : I think for me, it does get better today, we can make it happen.
George : Absolutely.