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Maxine on the panel for ‘DRIVE Change – Out at Work’

Maxine on the panel for ‘DRIVE Change – Out at Work’

We’re delighted to announce that Maxine Bremner, Head of Content & Outreach at Hive19, was asked to take part in the DRIVE Change ‘Out at Work’ panel event at Bournemouth University.

As an inclusive digital agency, we’re delighted to see one of Hive19’s founders at the forefront of such important discussions regarding diversity and inclusion in all professional environments.

Part of Bournemouth University’s Pride Month celebrations, ‘Out at Work’ was an insightful and honest discussion amongst members of the BU Alumni and members of the LGBTQ+ community about their experience being out and proud in the workplace.

Read on to learn more about the event from Maxine as well as practical steps for anyone looking to drive positive change for the industry.

Drive Change Logo

As one of five LGBTQ+ panellists from a wide range of professional backgrounds, I was asked to join the BU panel to share my own experience of being an openly gay woman working in the marketing industry.

During the panel we discussed important topics such as:

  • Workplace discrimination
  • The need to come out at different stages in a career
  • Safety concerns that can come with being openly queer at work
  • What management can do to create more inclusive workplace practices

Though there have been huge strides in the expansion of LGBTQ+ rights over the past century, queer people from all backgrounds still face discrimination in the workplace, and there’s still more that needs to be done.

By actively creating a more diverse, safe, and inclusive workplace at our agency, we hope to attract a more diverse and innovative talent, and do our part to promote greater workplace equality across the digital marketing industry.

Why diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important

While the UK has now repealed many of the homophobic, transphobic, and otherwise discriminatory laws that has marred its history, workplace discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and other minorities is still widespread in Britain today.

Though it may not be codified in legislation or company policy, LGBTQ+ people throughout several industries still experience economic and social prejudice in their working life, for example:

  • LGBTQ+ individuals earn £6,703 a year less on average than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
  • Almost one in five LGBTQ+ people have experienced negative comments or treatment in the workplace because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Around 12% of black, asian, and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ workers say they lost a job in 2018 due to their sexual / gender identity, compared to just 4% of white LGBTQ+ workers.
  • 35% of queer people have hidden their LGBTQ+ identity at work for fear of discrimination.
  • One in eight LGB people said they wouldn’t feel comfortable in reporting homophobic or biphobic workplace bullying to management.
Drive the Change Panel Zoom Meeting

How industry leaders can create a more diverse workplace

If we want these worrying figures to change, businesses must take an active role in forming LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces.

Here are some of the simple changes that can go a long way towards fostering diversity and inclusivity in marketing…

Advertise jobs with diversity and inclusion in mind

If you’re an agency owner looking to build a diverse and inclusive workforce, there’s a wide range of UK job boards that specifically aim to promote talent from minority groups including:

Advertising in these can send a clear message about your company’s policy of inclusion, and tap into previously unexplored talent pools.

Celebrate diversity in your existing workforce

As an agency owner looking to diversify your workforce, it’s important to publicise your commitment to diversity and inclusion. A great place to do this is on your company website and across social media.

A simple group photo that shows the diversity at your agency on your careers page can go a long way in attracting professionals from more diverse backgrounds especially when representation is incredibly important for potential job seekers.

Create an event calendar to show support for notable LGBTQ+ awareness dates internally and across your social media. It’s a great way to celebrate the individuals that work at your company and communicate your inclusive work culture to potential new talent.

To get started, below are a few key LGBTQ+ awareness dates to keep in mind:

LGBTQ+ Cultural Calendar

Although these dates are important to show your support, real change comes from entrepreneurs, agency owners and industry leaders taking meaningful action to address important LGBTQ+ issues. So, spend time looking at how your agency currently reflects your commitment.

Consider taking the following steps when it comes to hiring with diversity and inclusion in mind:

  • Hire leadership that celebrates diversity
  • Making interview panels as diverse as possible
  • Provide staff training on diversity and inclusion from members of the LGBTQ community
  • Foster a safe workplace for LGBTQ+ employees to express themselves authentically
  • Review your HR processes to eliminate unconscious bias
  • Donate to causes that affect members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially in your local area.

Auditing the culture at the senior level of the business

A move towards greater inclusion should start from the top. By checking your management’s culture for exclusionary or regressive traits, you’ll help to foster an inclusive workplace at all levels of the business.

Hive19’s pledge to diversity and inclusion

At Hive19, we are committed to being an inclusive workplace that reflects the rich diversity of the world we live in.

We believe that by enabling equal opportunity through fairness and transparency, we can enjoy greater innovation and a more cohesive working culture that fosters belonging, value, and commitment – which, in turn, will provide better results for our clients.

If you’d like to join an agency that celebrates diversity and inclusion and is passionate about ensuring our team is paid enough to enjoy the living standards they deserve, visit our careers page to see our latest job opportunities as we look to level up the next generation of marketing experts.



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Maxine Bremner

Head of Content & Outreach

Maxine is the content marketing specialist at Hive19, and manages the digital PR strategy for clients

Meet Maxine
Email Maxine

Maxine is Head of Content & Outreach

and is the content marketing specialist at Hive19, and manages the digital PR strategy for clients