Pride Month Q&A: Whitbread
We caught up with Keiran Bailey from UK Top Employer Whitbread. In this interview Keiran reveals more about the organisation and how it creates a culture of inclusion for the LGBT+ community.
Tell us about you and your organisation?
Whitbread is the owner of Premier Inn, the UK’s biggest hotel brand, employing over 30,000 people in over 1,200 Premier Inn hotels and restaurants across the UK. Whitbread’s other brands include; Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Bar & Block, Hub, Zip, Whitbread Inns, Cookhouse and Pub and Table Table.
Being a gay man of Asian/British descent myself, Diversity & Inclusion has always been a personal passion of mine and I wanted to find out how I could do more within my company and within society in general. My current role of Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, means I get to be a part of the change I want to see within the company, and allows me the opportunity to understand the challenges that several different minority groups face, as well as providing a platform to drive change.
What makes Whitbread a Top Employer?
I believe what makes Whitbread a Top Employer, is that we are constantly striving to improve our culture. We actively try to understand what changes our teams want to see and how we can move those forward, and we make use of external benchmarks to truly understand if the work we are doing is really making a difference. Whilst we know we have more to do, we are proud to be a longstanding Top Employer and hope to make hospitality more of a desired career path for current and potential employees.
How does Whitbread support and create a culture of Inclusion for the LGBT+ community in the workplace?
We have established an LGBTQ+ network called GLOW, committed to supporting our LGBTQ+ community, where we are committed to listening, celebrating and consulting with everyone. We are proud to be members of Stonewall, MyGWork, Trans in the City and Checking-IN. We have also recently updated name badges within our hotels to include the option of the progress flag and pronouns.
How do you plan to mark PRIDE month at Whitbread?
This year to mark the 50th Anniversary of Pride, we will be sharing resources with our teams via our internal communication channels, including understanding gender identity and pronouns, we have also created a Pride Pack which has been made available to all of our hotels and restaurants to allow them to celebrate Pride locally and let our guests know we welcome all of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re also proud to be flying the Progress Flag at our head offices and will be hosting a Lunch & Learn to help allies educate themselves about Pride and LGBTQ+ issues. We are pleased to also be marching in the Manchester Pride Parade, to provide an opportunity for members of the community and allies to meet up in a safe space.
What’s next for DEI at Whitbread?
Whitbread will continue to listen to the different communities that make up our teams and use this to help shape our strategy, we will continue to utilise external benchmarks where possible and grow our inclusion networks to help everyone feel included. We have 8 commitments, 4 for diversity and 4 for inclusion, which guide all of the work we do in this area, particularly our inclusion commitments which we use to help create an environment where everyone can be their true selves and feel they belong, regardless of their race, religion, culture, sexuality or identity. We believe this will help us to become more inclusive and as a result more diverse. Our diversity & team monitor our commitments throughout the year and these will be reviewed regularly to ensure they are helping us to drive the change in the culture we want to see.