RX is serious about being a workplace destination of choice for talented individuals from all walks of life, and cares deeply about being a true reflection of our customers and the beauty of human diversity. That’s why we encourage and support a growing network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) - independent, voluntary groups of employees who share common interests around race, gender and LGBTQ+ and want to make a difference in the workplace, and the wider community.
In June 2019 we launched our first LGBTQ+ employee resource group in the US and have since launched two further chapters in the UK and Brazil. To celebrate Pride month, we share the thoughts and experiences of six RX employees who have been instrumental in setting up and supporting their local ERGs. We couldn’t be prouder of them.
Ray Rhodes, Global Head of Diversity
I joined RX US as HR Director in 2007, becoming Director of Learning and Talent Development in 2014. In the latter role I raised my hand to start a Pride Chapter in the US. As an out gay man in the business I was the go-to person for advice on LGBTQ+ matters, both personal and professional.
Over time I came to realise that we needed a proper support system, and that’s when I learned about RELX’s global network of Employee Resource Groups. We launched our Pride Chapter in June 2019 quickly gaining over 100 members. It’s a safe place for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies to come together, share stories and experiences, support and learn from each other, and have fun.
Flavio Correa, Chapter Lead, RX Brazil Pride
I work on PROUD Experiences, our LGBTQ+ travel and lifestyle event. The very first edition of our annual show took place at Saatchi Gallery, in London, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall in 2019 we moved to New York, working in partnership with NYC & Company. We hosted the second edition at the beautiful 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, where we can’t wait to return from 8-10 November 2021.
Working on PROUD Experiences naturally drove me to get involved with RX Brazil Pride which I helped to launch in June 2020, alongside our amazing HR team. Personally speaking I have always been accepted and loved by my friends and family and I am proud to share that after 14 years with my partner I still get emotional thinking about how challenging life can be sometimes for those who face any prejudice or feel unrepresented. Our Pride chapters show how RX is committed to creating a safe environment for all of us, offering the opportunity for every single employee to learn, speak out and celebrate diversity worldwide.
Will Wise, Executive Sponsor for RX US Pride
When RX US Pride asked for someone from our Senior Leadership Team to take on the role of Executive Sponsor, I enthusiastically put my name forward. On a business level, I am a strong believer in diversity, integrity and respect – and that ideas and inspiration can and should come from all parts and all levels of the company. On a personal level, my son came out as gay before high-school age, and my wife and I are strong advocates for him and the LGBTQ+ community. We are keenly aware of the courage and resilience it takes to navigate ups and downs, and norms and biases in society.
Serving as the Executive Sponsor for the Pride Chapter has been a very positive and reflective experience for me. Amidst the huge challenges we’ve faced during this COVID timeframe, it has been very valuable to learn about the history and real-world stories of people who are LGBTQ+, definitions of identity, candidly reflecting on unconscious bias in systems, laws and legislation, and speaking out more than ever to have meaningful conversations with family, friends, and colleagues. Being an Executive Sponsor and getting involved with the Chapter, in general, is a key opportunity to have people get to know you better, not just as a colleague – but as a person, ally and caring collaborator to truly show that we are all in this together.
Adam Cartledge, Chapter Lead for RX UK OutRight
When I was at school, homophobic stigma and discrimination were common and I experienced both verbal and physical abuse. As I grew older I was determined to contribute in some way to changing the way in which people are treated. So when I heard talk about setting up an LGBTQ+ employee support group in RX UK I naturally wanted to find out more. We held our kick-off meeting in a pub across the road from our office in February 2020. Over 60 people turned up ‒ LGBTQ+ identifying colleagues who wanted to share their stories, but also allies who wanted to listen and understand.
We bring our members together through social events such as Drag Queen Bingo and film nights, and volunteering opportunities, while also campaigning to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues locally and nationally. We provide support to members, and advice to allies, for example on the use of language around LGBTQ+ issues. This month we are excited to partner with our Pride US Chapter to hold a virtual day of talks and presentations, including a fireside chat with special guest speaker, Ben Hunte, the BBC’s first LGBT correspondent. RX’s support for OutRight, and our Pride Chapters shows that it is serious about fostering a workplace environment where anyone can feel safe, proud and comfortable in their own skin.
Samantha Nagel, Ally, RX US Pride
Throughout my entire life, I have always had positive LGBTQ+ influences. Between friends and family, I have often considered myself an active Ally and was excited to join the Pride chapter at RX when it first started.
Inclusion and diversity in the workplace starts with staff believing that it is important and necessary. As a pride leadership member, I can contribute and create a work environment that is not only welcoming but inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community and other minority groups. I have always considered myself an Ally and as a member of the RX US Pride, I have continued to learn and evolve and get to know my colleagues differently than I ever could have imagined. We have truly created a community that people can come together, to learn and discuss how to make a difference.
Emma Riley, LGBTQ+ identifying member of RX UK OutRight
Putting oneself out as a visible example of a person who is openly gay yet fully included, accepted and listened to is hugely powerful. You never know how many people you can support or encourage just by being seen. So when my colleagues put out a call for volunteers to get involved with RX UK OutRight I thought I may be able to help.
As Global Privacy Programme Manager for RX I have personal experience of a colleague telling me that seeing someone like me in my position has given them the confidence to be more open at work. That is a great feeling! Also, being part of the RX OutRight ERG it gives me the opportunity to learn from and network with people in other RX units and the wider RELX group.
COLOUR THE WORLD WITH PRIDE
#RXPride #ProudAtRX #RXInclusion #RXDiversity