Profiles of two supporters from HSBC, Paul Dewick Day and Susan Catherine Rooney.


Paul Dewick Day

Why is your role in Pride important to you? There are a few reasons as to why Pride is important to me. Firstly, I feel it is very important that the LGBT+ community have a dedicated network that they can talk to, and also be a part of ensuring everyone can be themselves within the workplace. Coming out in 1994, the world was a very different place, and having the support available to employees is phenomenal and something I wish had been available to me.

Secondly, the main reason I got into the Pride network, was to have a presence across the UK, and not just in London. We now have 15 networks, covering Scotland, England and Wales. This is hugely important to me. When I look back at when I came out there just wasn’t this sort of support and now I can proudly say that there is a local network near to most employees across the UK. Finally, my role in Pride is also important to me with regards to the collaboration of colleagues from all sectors of the bank. I find it a fantastic way of networking, embedding behaviours and learning so much from others, which without the network wouldn’t exist.

How does your work help at HSBC UK be more inclusive and why does that matter?

The work the team and I do for the Pride Network certainly helps the bank to be more inclusive. An example of this is the Ally programme, launched on the back of the Pride network. This has been a fantastic way for colleagues to show their support and be on hand should a situation occur, for example we have had great feedback following the introduction of our rainbow lanyards and we have had some really positive examples of colleagues being supported in the workplace.

What have you gained?

I have met some amazing people, who I consistently keep in touch with, and I have learned so much from them, which has in turn increased my confidence within my day to day role. Secondly, I have seen that the work we do with Pride DOES have an effect on our people’s lives and this makes me feel proud to work for HSBC UK. I have also gained a lot of positive feedback, the emails I receive and nominations for awards has been phenomenal. This is not the reason I am part of the network, but gaining such accolades doesn’t only just make you feel great, but helps with your own performance in your day to day role.

Susan Catherine Rooney

Why is your role in Pride important to you? I feel personally committed to taking action to make HSBC UK more inclusive to our LGBT+ colleagues and potential hires. When my daughter came out to me just before she headed off to University, I was worried about the work environment she would face when she graduated.

I made a commitment to myself then that I would take action to ensure that every young graduate, and in fact, every new hire, would enter HSBC UK and see that we are inclusive in action as well as word. I am helping to create a world where parents will know that their LGBT+ child will not face discrimination at work, but will be accepted as they are without question or judgement.

How does your work help at HSBC UK be more inclusive and why does that matter?

I believe there is real power in allies, who may or may not identify as LGBT+ themselves, being seen to stand up for relevant issues and speak up when they hear or see inappropriate language and behaviour. My daughter attended a school that visibly posted that it was LGBT+ friendly, and I saw how that impacted every LGBT+ child in the school.

Every time I get in a lift at work and see someone wearing our LGBT+ Ally lanyard, I know I have made a small visible difference, and perhaps some new hire or new grad will see that lanyard on a work colleague and know that it’s okay to be who they are at work. Every time I discuss the need for Allies with senior leaders it’s an opportunity to increase understanding.

There are many colleagues in HSBC UK who are quietly supportive of their LGBT+ colleagues, but the time for more overt support is now. Discrimination still exists and it’s helpful when we have active visible allies – compared to a year ago, we have 1500 more allies willing to publicly declare that they are open to be approached if needed. As we continue to make progress, HSBC UK will be seen externally as an employer of choice both within and beyond the LGBT+ community. Our colleagues will feel welcomed, supported and accepted; we will have less turnover and more engagement – all in all, it’s just good business sense.

What have you gained?

As someone who has rarely if ever experienced any kind of overt discrimination, I have gained not only an appreciation for the issues within the LGBT+ community, but actually have a new appreciation and understanding of diversity and inclusion on a much broader scale. I have gained a glimpse into the stress that comes from trying not to reveal elements of who you are in your day to day conversations.

Perhaps more importantly, I have gained relationships with new colleagues, that I might not have met otherwise, that are wonderfully engaged, committed and willing to make a difference. My best days at work are when I have had the opportunity to progress decisions that support our LGBT+ colleagues, and when I see our lanyards on senior leaders in the organisation. Giving of my time to this Ally initiative has given me back far more in return.