I’m pleased to announce the launch of Link’s Insurance Pride Campaign for 2021. This year we’re holding a competition for insurance firms to design a t-shirt that promotes Pride, the LGBTQ+ community, and the importance of inclusion. It’s a fun idea that also aims to celebrate the creativity within Insurance.

We have 16 companies from across the industry taking part as I write this, with more due to come on board soon. The participants pay a sponsorship fee from which we aim to raise tens of thousands of pounds for our charities, which this year include the Albert Kennedy Trust as our main Charity Partner, as well as London Friend and the LGBT Foundation.

The deadline to enter the t-shirt competition is 19th May, after which our sponsors will host a series of webinars on range of topics around diversity and inclusion. The designs will be judged and the winning team will receive a fabulous prize. The winning design will also be used for the Pride parade in September – providing this goes ahead as planned.

We’ve had some great engagement from our sponsors so far. There is still time to become a gold-level sponsor and help raise more money for LGBTQ+ causes.

Why the work of Link is so important

I am a bit of an Insurance geek at heart, but, for me, it’s the people that make this such a great industry. Insurance is a very personal, relationship focused business with a wide variety of roles. Therefore it’s important to promote the industry as one that welcomes, supports and nurtures LGBTQ+ people. It’s also a key reason why the work of Link has been so important over the years.

For those that are not familiar with Link, Link is the cross-industry LGBTQ+ network for LGBTQ+ folk and allies. Our mission is to make the insurance industry the employer of choice for the LGBTQ+ community. We look to support the industry and drive forward LGBTQ+ inclusion.

It’s well known that many LGBTQ+ individuals go back into the closet on joining the world of work. Whilst there have been improvements across the insurance industry, many who do not fit the suited and booted norm continue to struggle. We need to continue the great conversations that have been happening over the years, to raise awareness and support everyone in their understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and what it means to be LGBTQ+.

Link’s achievements

This year’s campaign builds on Link’s great list of achievements. In 2019, Link was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of HM The Queen’s coronation and is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities – think of it as the MBE for volunteer groups! The award reflects all the great work Link, its committee, and our members have undertaken to date.

I am also incredibly proud of all the Employee Resource Groups we have been instrumental in establishing across the market. After all, sharing best practice and helping to join the dots between firms is a big part of what we do at Link.

We have also run and facilitated some great events over the years, focusing on some quite hard-hitting topics such as Gender Dysphoria, HIV and abuse.

I have been working in the insurance industry for over 8 years now. I have worked for Lloyd’s of London, the Bank of England and now PwC, mainly working with London Market clients. Although I’m proud of my career and very grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me, it’s no exaggeration that my association with Link might be the thing I’m proudest of. It’s why I feel grateful to have been the Chair of Link for the last two years.

How you can get involved with Link and support our 2021 Pride campaign

If you’re reading this, you’re either already a Link supporter or interested in getting involved. In both cases, you have my thanks. None of Link’s work would be possible without the generous support of legacy and new supporters like you.

If you’re interested in becoming an industry sponsor of our campaign, please take a look at this presentation which explains it in more detail. We are open to welcoming more gold-level sponsors and we would be more than happy to have you on board.

Perhaps you’re an LGBTQ+ individual who works in the insurance industry, or an ally interested in helping us in our work. You are just as important as any corporate sponsor, especially when it comes to supporting Link’s work in the longer term as we seek to build on our successful legacy.

Link has over 1600 members, and it’s super easy to join. If you’d like to join us, sign up for our monthly newsletter where you can follow what’s going on across the market and check out our upcoming events: https://www.lgbtinsurancenetwork.co.uk/join-link

To support our 2021 Pride Campaign is even simpler, and only takes a few moments of your time each week. Our corporate sponsors will be posting content about the campaign over the next few weeks, and so will we.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram and look out for the hashtag #LinkPride2021. Engage with the content, share what’s going on, and promote internally. If you are interested in joining the initiative, there are a number of ways you can get involved. Please email Maurice.rose@pwc.com and b.johnson@sheffieldhaworth.com for more information.

Thanks for your interest. I hope you decide to get involved.

Maurice Rose

Chair, Link