United with Pride

Systems Analyst at United Utilities, Ian Richardson, talks about the United Utilities LGBT+ network and Manchester Pride 2017

I am so excited to be representing United Utilities at Manchester Pride this bank holiday weekend. As a member of Identity, the LGBT+ network at the company, it means a lot that United Utilities is willing to sponsor our float for the parade and throw its weight behind supporting us as a group.

Manchester Pride 2017

Identity was formed three years ago to support LGBT+ employees and create a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment. It’s a network that’s open to all employees at United Utilities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or those with a positive interest in driving forward equality.

We currently have over 350 members who regularly get updates about key topics, events and discussions that affect the LGBT+ community. We attend as many of the Pride events across the North West as possible and also represent United Utilities at various conferences across the country.

We just wouldn’t be able to be as active as we are if it were not for the support of United Utilities and in particular our sponsor, Louise Beardmore, the company’s customer service director. Since coming on board this year Louise has really pushed us to develop the network and encouraged us to take on new challenges. It’s this kind of support that makes working at United Utilities such a good experience.

United Utilities is an outward looking, fair and inclusive place to work, and offering equal opportunities for everyone that works here, regardless of sexual orientation, race, ability or gender identity. Over 90% of our employees said they were proud to work for the company in our recent employee satisfaction survey and it was encouraging to see diversity and inclusion included in the top five categories.

I’m really excited to be attending Manchester Pride this weekend and proud to be representing United Utilities for our third consecutive year. Our previous parade entries have been low key, however we were determined to make this year’s entry one to remember. It’s reassuring to know that the senior management who have attended Manchester Pride with us in the past were also supportive of making our entry bigger.

Why not come down to Manchester this weekend and see the parade in action. It promises to be a fantastic occasion and, if I may say, our float will be a real talking point. So, if you see us, say hello, get a selfie with us and then grab one of the water pouches we’ll be handing out on the day!