05JUL Acosta Pride: Chris’s view
For the final part of our Pride mini-series, we caught up with Chris Wood from Shopsmart to find out about his experience working at Shopsmart, as well as some of the challenges facing LGBT+ staff.
‘I joined Shopsmart just over two years ago and during this time I have never felt any different to any other colleague within the business. I think at Shopsmart we have a really welcoming place to work, where no one is treated any differently – regardless of their personal life or background. Personally, I am very fortunate to be able to say that I have never felt excluded or disadvantaged due to my sexuality.
Whilst the company I work for and my own experiences have been positive, it is important to recognise those that are unable to be themselves at work. In the UK, 35% of LGBT+ staff have hidden their sexuality – citing fear of facing discrimination. For me this is worse when you see 10% of BAME LGBT+ employees say they have been physically attacked by a customer or colleague because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in 2017.
These figures are shocking to me personally as no one should have to feel they need to hide who they are and when you see figures like these it shows there is still quite a way to go.
Companies must lead by example to ensure that their employees are able to be themselves without any fear of discrimination and I am proud to be part of a company – and wider organisation – that encompasses these values.’