A host of top firms are running virtual workshops and initiatives to celebrate LGBT+ Pride month in the U.K. as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt events within the industry.
Slaughter and May is currently planning a virtual panel to be run in September, where its people will share experiences of ‘coming out’ with colleagues, clients and peers, and how this has changed over their time in the industry.
The panel — which will be run jointly with investment banking company Macquarie — will also explore how non-LGBT+ people can call out micro-behaviours or assumptions that might unintentionally exclude those from the LGBT+ community, such as asking someone male at a networking event whether they have a wife or girlfriend.
Clifford Chance is hosting an online workshop on ballroom voguing — a dance style linked predominantly with black and Latino LGBT+ communities — and is set to run a LGBT+ Black poetry and performance showcase. The firm is also running a Drag Bingo event alongside LGBT+ social recruitment network My Gworks.
As well as encouraging its workforce to take part in activities celebrating the LGBT+ community, such as a virtual Pride 5km run, Latham & Watkins has recently given its workforce the option to display their preferred pronouns in email signatures.
Mayer Brown is running a virtual Pride parade across its U.S. offices and in collaboration with clients and organisations aimed at improving the LGBT+ support services.
The ‘stops’ on the parade are being replaced online with a series of panels, including a Mayer Brown-led discussion with in-house LGBTQ lawyers from Accenture, American Express, AppLovin and Spotify about how their identities have impacted their professional life.
Simmons & Simmons’s international LGBT+ network, meanwhile, is hosting weekly virtual tea breaks to check in with colleagues and provide support, advice and networking opportunities while under lockdown.
At Pinsent Masons, staff will be able to attend a series of activities including a virtual roundtable focused on maintaining a trans inclusive workplace, and a webinar on how to encourage the concept of allyship in children.
Weil Gotshal & Manges is running an online panel session in June with a focus on inclusion within the workplace. The panel is being run by the U.S. firm’s WeilPride Europe network, which is led by London private equity partner Marco Compagnoni.
DWF, meanwhile, has planned a series of online activities for employees that are set to run until the end of August, all of which are aimed at utilising ”the educational element of the pride marches”, the firm’s diversity and inclusion manager Sarah Charlesworth said in a statement.
These activities include running mentoring sessions with secondary schools partnered with the firm’s community education programme, and running a firmwide LGBT+ quiz in partnership with clients.