To launch Kubrick’s month of Pride celebration and education initiatives, we sat down with Kubrick Diversity Champion Joe Woodman to learn what Pride means to him and what we can expect from the month ahead.
At Kubrick, we’ve created 5 core values that push us to drive change in our industry, better ourselves and our ways of working, and shape tomorrow today. One of these core values, ‘Diversity over Homogeneity’, is critical to ensuring that we stay on course in this mission, especially as we begin celebrating Pride month.
Diversity over Homogeneity: We respect the differences in others and understand the importance of diverse thoughts, experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives when formulating new ideas and creating solutions. We believe in creating equal opportunities for all and pushing against barriers that have existed for too long.
Pride month (June) is an annual month of recognition around the world which celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) communities and honours the 1969 Stonewall uprising. This month, we want to acknowledge the achievements and struggles of the those who have historically been silenced but continued to drive change in the equality and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ communities.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a time for recollection, celebration, love, and support, whether you are LGBTQ+ or an ally. It is easy to forget why we use the word ‘Pride’ – everyone will have their own interpretations and connotations; Pride might resonate as feeling proud of your identity, proud to be yourself freely and openly, proud to be part of our community or an ally, or proud of our history and progress we have made.
This celebration is rooted in protest, and it is important to remember the sacrifices of those who endeavoured to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. The Stonewall uprising, to which Pride pays homage, reminds us that although we have made significant strides towards equality and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, there are many steps left to make.
For me, Pride month renews that drive to think and act critically, to engage with groups and charities, and to educate myself on where and how the LGBTQ+ community is still being stigmatized and marginalized. Pride is a month where people of the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate what many others might often take for granted: being themselves and being accepted. It is a time where we can all come together and support one another.
Do you have any recommendations for actions – big or small – that LGBTQ+ community members or allies can take to celebrate Pride?
Read, read, read. If you don’t know much about Pride, LGBTQ+ history, or Stonewall, the best thing you can do is educate yourself! There is a wealth of resources at your fingertips, from journals which highlight more of the hidden history of LGBTQ+ rights, to podcasts and documentaries. Critically, we need to inform ourselves on the state of LGBTQ+ oppression that still exists today. You can find LGBTQ+ rights and world news articles on many news outlets, including the Guardian. PinkNews is an especially fantastic source of LGBTQ+ news, from politics through to culture.
You can make a direct impact, too. There are some incredible charities which support LGBTQ+ communities, such as Stonewall, which provides resources for improving inclusion in workplaces and schools, as well as driving key political campaigns. You can use their campaign resources to have your say and demonstrate your commitment by signing their petitions.
Normalize LGBTQ+ representation and narratives: perhaps you haven’t delved into literature, film, and television which represents LGBTQ+ people and relationships. If you haven’t watched them yet, I’d recommend Schitts Creek and Heartstopper. The latter is a teen romance, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it – my teenage self would’ve been overjoyed to see something like that on Netflix! The rise of podcasting has also been an incredible tool for amplifying LGBTQ+ voices – you can find literally hundreds of series on any podcast platform which cover LGBTQ+ topics, from comedy shows to relationship advice. My favourites are History is Gay, and A Gay and A NonGay. Jameela Jamil’s podcast I Weigh also has many episodes which cover LGBTQ+ intersectionality, considering mental health and a variety of other key issues.
What can Kubrick staff and partners look forward to this month?
At Kubrick we’re looking forward to an action-packed pride month, with some incredible events dotted throughout June, so do look out for posts celebrating Kubrick’s LGBTQ+ community! Our Pride month is separated into 4 themed weeks: the first will be around leading LGBTQ+ technology figures, the second focussed on fundraising, the third promoting allyship with resources like our company-wide webinar, and the fourth on raising LGBTQ+ voices. For the final week, I’m thrilled to be joining Kubrick’s Diversifying Data podcast with Rakhi Sharma as a special co-host, so you can tune in later this month.
Joe Woodman is the Commercial Analytics Manager at Kubrick Group and leads Kubrick's internal working group, Diversity Champions, to help advocate for policy, provide resources and education outlets, and encourage all Kubrick staff to engage with and support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across the board.You can find more from Kubrick's Diversity Champions and other initiatives, such as the Diversifying Data podcast on our website and on our social media platforms.