We kick-started Liverpool’s 2019 Pride season with a celebration of the city region’s thriving LGBTQ+ business community.
On Thursday 25th July, over 150 business leaders joined Agent and partners, including MSB Solicitors and DWF, at the company’s Baltic Triangle headquarters for the first ever Pride Connect.
Whilst LGBT visibility in business and in the workplace is improving, there is still a long way to go. The latest survey of over 5,000 LGBT people from national charity, Stonewall* found that one in five respondents have been the target of negative comments due to their sexuality at work, and that more than a third have hidden their sexuality in the workplace due to fear of discrimination.
To combat this, Pride Connect highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in business and celebrated everything that has been done so far to make the city region an LGBT-friendly one.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a business leader for 13 years, Agent’s CEO, Paul Corcoran’s passion for diversity and inclusivity recently saw him selected by the Department for International Trade to join the first ever LGBTQ+ Founders’ Trade Mission in New York. As well as taking part in a number of networking events, roundtable discussions and knowledge seminars, Paul also participated in WorldPride, the largest Pride celebration ever.
Paul is also deputy-chair of Liverpool City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership, co-chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership’s creative and digital board, vice chair of Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse theatres, and Policy and Evidence Centre industry champion for the creative industries.
Paul Corcoran, CEO at Agent, said:
“With Pride Connect, we wanted to bring together our amazing LGBTQ+ business leaders, as well as our many allies, and celebrate the value each and every member of this community brings to Liverpool City Region.
“I’m a loud and proud member of this community and I’m delighted to say that at Agent, each and every single member of my team has the freedom to be whoever they want to be. It is so important that no matter who you are, you are able to bring your whole personality to work and I really do think that this should be a practice adopted by every single business, as not only does it result in a much happier team, it also creates a much better business.
“I’d say that even ten years ago, events like Pride Connect would be few and far between, perhaps not even happening at all, which is why I felt it was important to come together with some of the city region’s prominent businesses and broadcast the message that you can be whoever you want to be and actually be a better business person as a result.”
Emma Carey, managing partner at MSB Solicitors, said:
“Pride is of course, an amazing celebration, but it is also a symbol of the ongoing struggle the LGBTQ+ community faces and the importance of standing together as one. It is so important for MSB Solicitors to support this community and events like Pride Connect, which is just one of the many ways we celebrate diversity and inclusion at our firm.”
Pride Connect was supported by MSB Solicitors, DWF Law, Frederiks, Relish Events and Catering and Beckoration.