Calling all out women in the workplace (and those of you not quite out too!)... LB Women has been created to support you!
Following a successful launch event, we're extremely excited about the launch of this endeavour as it is about a topic close to the hearts of the Planet Nation team, the visibility of women and supporting women to be their best. Find out more by searching online using the hashtag #LBWomen
What is LB Women?
The LBWomen initiative aims to explore ways to support and advise organisations in creating an environment where LB women can be authentic at work and proud to be 'out', and support them to becoming Senior Role Models.
Why was LB Women created?
LB Women is a not-for-profit initiative that was created off the back of the low participation of women in the British LGBT Awards. In 2016, only 8% of nominations were for LGB women from over 2,000 nominations... The organisers, SPM Group wanted to find out why.
So a group of high profile women met in London, and the LB Women survey was created and circulated. The Work Survey received over 1,200 respondents in under three weeks thanks to the team effort of sharing it across multiple networks.
The survey demonstrated many women want to be out but do not know how. They may not have the opportunity of attending a client or internal event where inviting a partner would be appropriate – they may not have a partner which can often be the easiest way to out yourself at work. But the responses showed that many do want to out themselves but not with a flag and a trumpet!!
LB Women would like to help and so launched officially on 13 October 2016.
The Launch of LB Women
The launch event took place at the offices of BLP Law and was attended by hundreds of women from all levels of various organisations aross a wide range of sectors. This in itself was truly inspiring. The room was buzzing.
Opened by Daisy Reeves, a partner from BLP Law who is one of the founding ambassadors of LB Women, we then heard from SPM Group CEO Sarah Garrett who talked us through some of the survey results that resulted in the launch of LB Women.
Alison Berryman (Barclaycard) and Camilla Stowell (Coutts) gave the audience an intimate fireside chat where they discussed coming out in their workplaces, and their perception of the impact on their careers.
The session was closed by fellow founding ambassador Pippa Dale from BNP Paribas who introduced the senior role model programme, LB Women Out Directory and also the planned mentoring programme.
Introducing the LB Senior Role Models programme
The results of the survey were clear, 85% of respondents said that they needed more visible role models. So the answer was clear; to find out senior women and to encourage them to step forward as role models. To identify out women to create a pipeline of senior out women. To provide a platform for women to mentor each other, to be inspired by the existing role models; and to let those looking for female out speakers that there are more than 3 out women in the UK!
To become a Senior Role Model you are required to meet certain criteria such as owning your own business, having a role with a high public profile, being an MD or C-Suite, or managing large teams or functions within an organisation as a level of senior management.
Introducing the LB Women Out Directory
LB Women will be creating a directory of out women in the workplace. So if you are not out in the workplace - this listing gives you opportunity to send the link to your line manager, your HR and if relevant we recommend you include your Pride network and senior straight ally. This list creates a tangible business reason to out yourself within the organisation.
You can, in a professional, open and helpful way, inform your organisation that you belong to LB Women – and by your own proactive response you can offer to your organisation the resources that LB Women have to offer. Your organisation may need a speaker, advice on setting up a network, senior to senior advice; and because you connect to LB Women you are offering them a useful service to the diversity/HR team. What you are also doing is outing yourself in a powerful and positive way – and the founding ambassadors really hope this idea is a useful one.
How to get involved
Submit yourself to the LB Women Out Directory here
Follow LB Women on Twitter: @lbwomenorg
Join the LB Women mailing list here and we will let you know about future LB Women events and news, and also share other events aimed at or of interest to LB Women.
When out and about at LGBT events, or to share information relevant to out women; use the hashtag #LBWomen