Weir Group believes that LGBTQIA+ allies play a pivotal role in ensuring its workplace is inclusive for everyone.
Affinity groups help identify gaps in knowledge or understanding that might be due to unconscious bias or lack of insight of the matters at hand, Weir Pride Alliance Affinity Group steering committee member Yesenia Meraz-Torres (she/her) explained in a blogpost.
Therefore, allies play a critical role in helping address these gaps or biases.
“We can be the voice of our colleagues and advocates when they aren’t in the room,” Meraz-Torres said.
“Regardless of where we are in our ally journey, being supportive, accepting and open to all will help make Weir an even better place to work.”
Likewise, ensuring that people feel like they belong will also help them to do their best for their company.
To achieve this there needs to be a sense of urgency, and businesses need to actively “help move the needle in the right direction faster,” Meraz-Torres said.
“We need to be open-minded around conversations about the LGBTQ+ community. I think we should all adopt using pronouns as a sign of respect and keep learning how to be a better ally,” Meraz-Torres noted.
For example, “I have also chosen to show my pronouns as part of my signature as a sign of respect to each individual’s self-identity.”
Most importantly, Meraz-Torres highlighted the importance of challenging biases.
“We should look out for bias and be brave enough to step-up when it’s appropriate,” she said.
Meraz-Torres said she recently heard a great analogy that that helped her understand the difference between choice and identity:
“Sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are part of someone’s identity – just like the colour of one’s skin. Some aspects of our identities are visible, while others are not,” she explained.
“This is part of why I choose to be an ally. To help everyone feel safe, comfortable, and respected whatever their identity.
“I encourage others to do the same.”
Meraz-Torres explained the role the Weir Pride Alliance Affinity Group aims to play in helping achieve inclusion, diversity, and equity priorities at Weir Group.
“At Weir, we strive to ensure everyone can bring their whole self to work and do the best work of their life. This is only possible by being accepting of everyone,” she said.
“We have various forums that help reinforce this philosophy and I am proud to be involved with all of them.”
For example, “the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Steering Committee (I,D&E) works to foster an inclusive and diverse environment – one that is fair, honest, transparent and authentic,” Meraz-Torres said.
“The Global Weir Women’s Network (GWWN) is dedicated to the attraction, retention, and continued development of women in Weir. It has chapters across the globe,” she said.
“And the Weir Pride Alliance (WPA) that creates opportunities to network, educate and advocate for our LGBTQ+ community and its allies.”