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Live talk available at the below date and time. The Electrical Industries Charity presents a wellbeing series of inspirational speakers and leading experts in mental health, law, and reliance. The series is uplifting and educational on a range of issues impacting our industry. Format of the series will be a 50-minute virtual presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers facilitated by the Charity CEO, Tessa Ogle.

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As a speaker, Laila paints a vision of the benefits of eradicating discrimination, and then gives audiences the tools to action such change, with long-lasting positive results. Dedicating her career to educating on LGBT+ rights, Laila is the Founder and CEO of Pride in Education, Educating Out Racism and an Equity and Belonging Consultant at LelmEducation. Through these roles, Laila has established LGBT+ training and support in school curriculums, held conferences that promote inclusivity and provided a queer education for hundreds of clients. As a business owner, Laila has also publicly pledged her commitment to greater inclusion in the workplace.

Alongside her career, Laila supports several organisations that work towards the same cause. Currently, she is the volunteer chairperson for Proud London Councils a group she formed to engage the local council’s LGBT+ employees and she previously co-chaired the LGBT+ Staff Forum for London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Laila has played an integral role in Queering the ESOL curriculum in the UK. She is an active member of DiverseEd and runs a workshop on How to Foster Belonging in the Workplace, teaching audiences how to understand the theoretical framework behind belonging and practical tips for a greater sense of employee belonging.

Honoured as the Stonewall Lesbian Role Model of the Year and named on the Guardian Pride Power List 2021, Laila’s impact on the LGBT+ community and beyond has been influential. Her commitment to representation is nothing short of remarkable, and as a respected educator, she continues to provide essential talks and workshops on terminology, inclusion and diversity. In 2021 Laila was nominated for the Unsung Hero Award at the DIVA Magazazine National Awards. As a speaker, Laila is booked for her expertise on everything from diversity to inclusion and race equity, all of which she is comfortable and confident in delivering talks and training on for corporate audiences.

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June 2022

June is Pride month, which surrounds the celebration and education of the LGBTQIA+ community. Nationwide, there will be parades, protests, and educational events taking place with the aim to raise awareness about the injustices and discrimination that continues to happen to this community. If you work in the Electrical industry, you or a loved one that is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is entitled to an array of helpful services including mental health support, financial assistance, and CV advice. When someone identifies as anything other than heterosexual, they are most likely to be made redundant and are often targeted with hate crimes. Due to the amount of social and economic discriminations, it is vital that support is provided for those in the community, and education is available for all Allies.

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Pride Month is an entire month dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ voices, celebration of LGBTQ culture and the support of LGBTQ rights. Throughout the month of June, nationwide, there have traditionally been parades, protests, drag performances, live theatre and memorials and celebrations of life for members of the community who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. It is part political activism, part celebration of all the LGBTQ community has achieved over the years.
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Before Pride become a celebration, it started out as a protest. June 28, 1969, marks the start of the Stonewall riots in which the queer community responded to a police raid that began at the Stonewall Inn, a bar located in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York, that served as a ‘safe haven’ for the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community. At the time, homosexual acts were deemed illegal in almost every state, and bars and restaurants faced getting shut down for having gay employees or serving gay patrons. While police had raided gay establishments before, on that particular night, members of the LGBTQ community decided to fight back, sparking an uprising that would launch a new era of resistance that would later turn to celebration.

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Data published by the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA World) shows there are many countries throughout the world that continue to criminalise and oppress LGBT+ people; including 49 countries which punish homosexual acts with imprisonment and 11 countries that use the death penalty against LGBT+ people. There is still much work to be done in terms of social reform. Violent crimes against LGBT+ people are on the increase, many hate crimes and hate incidents go unreported. Stonewall estimate over 80% of hate crimes and hate incidents against LGBT+ people go unreported. There is a lack of understanding and awareness of domestic violence and abuse in same-sex relationships, often remaining invisible. There is a significant level of underreporting of all types of violent crime, and a lack of help-seeking among LGBT+ people including those in violent and abusive relationships.
Because there is so much that still needs to be done in other countries as well as in the UK, Pride Month is a vital part of inciting change.

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The acronym LGBTQIA+ is an ever growing and evolving acronym. It is an inclusive term covering people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. Since this is not one group but several different groups, it’s important to examine what each different letter stands for.

The first three letters of LGBTQIA+ deal with sexual identity. LGB can be broken down into lesbian, gay, and bisexual.

  • Lesbian: This is a term for women sexually and affectionately oriented toward other women. However, the term can also be used by non-binary individuals, especially those that are attracted to women or feel connected to womanhood.
  • Gay: A homosexual person or those attracted to same gender.
  • Bisexual: Those that are sexually and affectionately attracted both to men and women.

The T in LGBTQIA+ can have several different meanings, but typically deals with gender identity. Some words have fallen out of favour, or their meanings are slightly different depending on the person.

  • Trans: An inclusive term for transgender, non-conforming, and non-binary individuals.
  • Transsexual: Can mean someone transitioning from one sex to another using surgery or medical treatments. However, this term has fallen out of favour for trans or transgender.
  • Transgender: Term for someone that identifies as a different gender than what was assigned on their birth certificate.

QIA stands for questioning/queer, intersex, and asexual.

  • Questioning: When a person is exploring their sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression.
  • Queer: This term can have various definitions but can be seen as an inclusive term or as a unique celebration of not moulding to social norms.
  • Intersex: This word can have various meanings; it’s used for individuals that don’t fit into specific gender norms of woman or man; it can also be used for those with reproductive anatomy that isn’t typical.
  • Asexual: Use for those that don’t feel sexual attraction to either sex or that don’t feel romantic attraction in the typical way.

To be inclusive to everyone, the LGBTQ full acronym has changed to add the plus at the end. This works to allow the acronym to cover new subsects of the community like:

  • Ally: A term for individuals that support and rally the cause even though they don’t identify within the community
  • Pansexual/omnisexual: Like bisexual, this describes individuals with desire for all genders and sexes
  • Androgynous: describes those with both male and female traits
  • Genderqueer: a gender term used for those with no, both, or a combination of genders
  • Two-spirit: typically used by Native Americans to describe a third gender
  • Demisexual: describes someone that requires an emotional bond to form a sexual attraction
  • Polyamorous: term for those open to multiple consensual romantic or sexual relationships at one time.

While this works to cover some of the different initials in LGBTQIA+, it is far from an all-inclusive list. New terms can be added under the “umbrella” of the plus at the end of the acronym.

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June marks Pride Month and the annual month-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. This covers people of all genders and sexualities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. Events with the aim of raising awareness about the injustice and discrimination experienced by this community take place nationwide. John was 13 when he realised he was attracted to both girls and boys, but never discussed it with friends or family. At 17, he started his apprenticeship working with a large Scottish contractor in the buildings industry. He enjoyed his work, got on well with his supervisor and colleagues, and been in a committed relationship with his girlfriend for two years. He had never disclosed his sexuality to either his colleagues or his girlfriend. However, through attending college as part of his apprenticeship, John started to mix with a different circle of friends and became more comfortable telling them his sexuality.

As he thought more about coming out to his family, older friends, girlfriend and work colleagues, John started to feel highly anxious. One day, whilst on site, he encountered an instance where a contractor said discriminatory things about a homosexual man who was working on the same site. He started to worry that someone would find out about his sexuality and that, when they did, he would lose everything: his job, his family and his girlfriend. Despite the advances that our society has made in creating an inclusive workplace, many LGBTQIA+ people in the UK still choose not to disclose their sexuality at work. This is despite evidence to prove that companies that embrace LGBTQIA+ policies outperform their competitors. Diversity in the workforce helps draw the best talent, and people perform their jobs better when they can be themselves.

John’s feelings of anxiety intensified until he saw only one way out and overdosed on pain medication. John was taken to hospital and survived, but his suicide attempt came as a shock to everyone that knew him. After his release from hospital, John was put in contact with the EIC for mental health support. Who sourced a specialist therapist to work with John on his sexual identification transition and to support him with practical advice for having the necessary conversations with his loved ones. As a result, John was able to disclose his sexuality to his girlfriend and family in a supportive setting. Although John’s family and friends needed time to process this information, it was an overwhelmingly positive experience for all involved.
If you work in the electrical industry, you or a loved one are entitled to support from the EIC, including mental health support, financial assistance, and CV advice.
The help John was able to access is due to the support of the EIC and the powerLottery. It means he got the support he needed to accept his own sexuality and come out to his friends, family and girlfriend. Without powerLottery, the EIC would not be able to offer support to people like John. That’s why we need you to become a powerLottery player to help EIC to continue supporting our industry members.

powerLottery is the only lottery made for our industry by our industry. It gives players 40 chances to win cash prizes ranging from £50 to £1,000 every single month. A £10,000 draw bi-yearly gives you even more opportunity to win BIG. A new car, a holiday in the sun, a kitchen re-fit or a brand-new wardrobe… Think of all the different ways you could spend £10,000.
To sign up to play the powerLottery today, click here:

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In 1978, Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man, and a drag queen, designed the first rainbow flag. Baker later revealed that he was urged by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., to create a symbol of pride for the gay community. Baker decided to make that symbol a flag because he saw flags as the most powerful symbol of pride. This flag is known as the ‘Gilbert Pride Flag’. The 6-Color Pride Flag is one of the most well-known and used LGBT flags throughout history. This flag includes the colours red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet on it. The Philadelphia Pride Flag came out in response to the demand of more inclusivity across the LGBTQ+ community. The flag launches in 2017 as part of the "More Colour More Pride" Campaign in Philadelphia and was designed by a small Philly-based PR agency. The Transgender Flag was first created in 1999 by Monica Helms, a transgender woman. Light blue and pink are featured because they’re the traditional colours associated with baby boys and girls, respectively. The white stands for those who are intersex, transitioning or those who don´t feel identified with any gender.

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Evidence indicates individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) are especially susceptible to socioeconomic disadvantages. Prior research has shown that LGBT people and same sex/gender couples are more vulnerable to conditions of poverty as compared to heterosexual people and couples. A lack of acceptance and fear of persecution can lead many LGBT youth to leave their homes and live-in transitional housing or on the streets. Many LGBT youth may also be rejected by their family of origin or caregivers and forced to leave the home as minors. The consequences of youth homelessness have many implications for the socioeconomic status of LGBT youth.

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People who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual may experience harassment or discrimination from people who fear or uncomfortable with these identities. The homophobia definition is the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Biphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort, or mistrust, specifically of people who are bisexual. Similarly, transphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are transgender, genderqueer, or don’t follow traditional gender norms. Although transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia are similar, they’re not the same thing. Both gay and straight people can be transphobic and biphobic, and people can be transphobic without being homophobic or biphobic. Homophobia can take many different forms, including negative attitudes and beliefs about, aversion to, or prejudice against bisexual, lesbian, and gay people. It’s often based in irrational fear and misunderstanding. Some people’s homophobias may be rooted in conservative religious beliefs. People may hold homophobic beliefs if they had taught them by parents and families.

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Nobody should experience hate crime because of their sexual orientation, gender-identity or sex characteristics, but we know that lots of people do. Research has consistently shown that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experience high levels of hate crime, that is verbal, physical, sexual assault and other crime perpetrated against them because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.

In a 2017 report by Stonewall, research suggests that:

  • One in five LGBT people (21 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.
  • Two in five trans people (41 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months and one in six LGB people, who aren’t trans (16 per cent), have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation in the same period.
  • The number of lesbian, gay and bi people who have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year because of their sexual orientation has risen by 78 per cent from nine per cent in 2013 to 16 per cent in 2017.
  • More than a third of LGBT people (36 per cent) say they don’t feel comfortable walking down the street while holding their partner's hand. This increases to three in five gay men (58 per cent).

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The legal definition of discrimination is the unequal treatment of persons based on an identifying characteristic. Discrimination can refer to any sort of act or behaviour that distinguishes or singles out individuals on account of factors such as age, sex, race, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This can include revoking or extending preferential treatment.

Discrimination can come in many forms and occur in a variety of settings. From the workplace to your doctor’s office, to the store you frequent for groceries—any setting that involves contact with another person can become a site of discrimination.

The impact of discrimination in the LGBTQ community may include effects on:

  • Physical health
  • Mental and psychological health
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Housing status
  • Treatment in public and social settings
  • Economic security

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We can prevent homophobia, discrimination and prejudice developing if we catch it early enough. Therefore, it’s vital to start educating children at primary and junior age, teaching them about equality and diversity, and introducing equality lessons which cover LGBT+ themes in an age-appropriate way. Our schools, with the ongoing support of parents and guardians, are responsible for combating discrimination. Whether direct, indirect, perceptive, association, harassment or victimisation. Failure to do so can have detrimental results to children's mental health, which can stay with them into adulthood.

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Over the last decade, organisations in all sectors have made huge strides in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees and creating an inclusive workplace. The evidence is clear: companies that embrace LGBT policies outperform their competitors. Diversity helps draw top talent and foster innovation, and people perform significantly better when they can be themselves at work.

However, many LGBTQIA+ people in the UK still choose not to disclose their sexuality at work. And many more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) senior executives have not come out at the office. For businesses to become more inclusive, they can:

  • Develop a Clear Mission for Supporting LGBT in the Workplace.
  • Take LGBT Discrimination Seriously.
  • Develop Support Programmes for LGBT Employees.
  • Promote Allies of LGBT People.
  • Get Support from Senior Staff.
  • Support the Local LGBT Community.
  • Offer LGBT-Friendly Benefits.
  • Foster a Gender-Neutral Environment.
  • Support Transgender Employees.

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There is no one right way to be a great ally, but here are some ways in which you can become a more supportive friend, loved one, or colleague. These are just some of the ways that you can become an ally:

  • Be open to learn, listen and educate yourself: Part of being supportive to your LGBTQ+ friends and loved ones means developing a true understanding of how the world views and treats them. It sounds obvious, but to learn, you need to be willing and open to truly listen. Listen to your friend's personal stories and ask questions respectfully.
  • Understand the origins of Pride: Take the time to learn about the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the queer people of colour, like Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who played key roles. Then, keep reading, listening and watching.
  • Don’t assume: Don't assume that all your friends, co-workers, and even housemates are straight. Don't assume someone's gender or pronouns. LGBTQ+ people don't look a particular way and someone's current or previous partner(s) doesn't define their sexuality.
  • Know that language matters: We form human connections through language. Most of us respect when someone changes their nickname – accommodating LGBTQ+ people’s names and pronouns are no different. If you are unsure of someone’s pronoun or label, just ask them respectfully.
  • Support small queer businesses: Supporting small queer-owned businesses is an easy yet direct form of allyship. And again, we live in a time where we’re relatively spoilt for choice, perhaps not on the high street but online and especially on social media.
  • Know that you will mess up sometimes: Accidentally assumed someone’s label? Having a conversation about someone who is trans or non-binary, and unintentionally used the wrong pronoun? It happens - don’t panic, apologise, and correct yourself.

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Coming out refers to the process that people who are LGBTQ go through as they work to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity and share that identity openly with other people. Coming out is a very brave thing to do, and it’s extremely personal and different for everyone. Your emotions when coming out may range from scared and anxious to elated and relieved. There’s no one right way to come out. It can feel better to be open and honest about your sexual orientation than to hide it, but there are many factors to consider before coming out.

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Coming out can be a very difficult process. Our society strongly enforces codes of behaviour regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, and most people receive the message that they must be heterosexual and act according to society’s definition of their gender. For gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons, there may be a sense of being different or of not fitting in to the roles expected of you by your family, friends, workplace, or greater society. Coming out involves facing societal responses and attitudes toward LGBTQ people. You may feel ashamed, isolated, and afraid.

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In 1979, clinical psychologist and sex therapist Vivienne Cass developed the Cass Theory—a model that describes the developmental process individuals go through as they consider while acquiring their homosexual identity. The model includes lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities. Although a model expresses the process of accepting one’s true self, demographics and other factors can also affect development and cohesion. The six stages are not the same for everyone as everyone’s identity development has unique components.

  1. Identity Confusion: Generally, people assume their identity with the heterosexual or gender-conforming majority. However, as people try to fit in society’s standards, the identity comes into question through thoughts, emotions, physical reactions, and other experiences that question their identity as heterosexuals.
  2. Identity Comparison: Stage 2 includes social alienation, a feeling of being out of place or difference. During this stage, people start to accept that they are different from others or inhibit who they genuinely are to avoid scrutiny.
  3. Identity Tolerance: Instead of hiding who they are, they start to find subcultures where they belong and fit in. During this stage, they will feel more alienated by the gender-conforming group.
  4. Identity Acceptance: A sign of identity acceptance is when the person feels more connected around people from the LGBTQIA+ community and prefers being with them more than cisgenders.
  5. Identity Pride: People will identify themselves with the LGBTQIA+ community in the identity pride stage and may even choose it over the heterosexual community.
  6. Identity Synthesis: Also considered a full-circle moment, during this time, the individual might realize that their gender identity is not the only defining aspect of their identity. Instead, they may find out that their identity can be part of many other things.

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Coming out can be the best day of an LGBTQ person's life. Though it's freeing, it isn't always easy. In fact, coming out is one of the hardest things a person can do in a society that harms, marginalizes, and perpetuates violence against them. As a parent, there's not really a fool proof guide on how to raise a successful, happy LGBTQ child or how to adequately prepare them for the experience of entering a world that isn't always accepting. There are, however, some things you can say to your child to help ease the process of coming out, and there are statistics that prove the importance of your support.

Here are seven ways you can support your child on their coming out journey:

  1. Say ‘I love you’: reminding your child that you love them is crucial and will give them the confidence to trust in you.
  2. Offer your help: Letting them know that you want to help them on their journey will show them you care and want to get them through this difficult period.
  3. Speak to them: Open discussions during this time are crucial. Let your child know that you support them and make them known that they are heard.
  4. Improve: Nobody is perfect, and you are humans are prone to mistakes. If you mess up along the way, apologise and ask them how you can improve.
  5. Take your time: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your child’s journey has only just started. Let them know that you will move at their pace and explain that they are in control.
  6. Offer support and resources: If your child needs additional help, offer them the opportunity of reaching out for support and resources from trained professionals.
  7. Appreciation: Let them know you are thankful that they have opened up to you about their journey.

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Someone who is coming out feels close enough to you and trusts you sufficiently to be honest and risk losing you as a friend. It can be difficult to know what to say and what to do to be a supportive friend to someone who has “come out” to you.

Below are some suggestions you may wish to follow:

  • Thank your friend for having the courage to tell you. Choosing to tell you means that they have a great deal of respect and trust for you.
  • Don’t judge your friend. If you have strong religious or other beliefs about LGBTIQ communities, keep them to yourself for now.
  • Don’t ignore the situation. You may not feel as though your friend coming out is particularly big news. Perhaps you felt as though you already knew, or you don’t see a significant meaning behind one’s sexual orientation. Regardless of your feelings, understand the importance of the moment to your friend.
  • Ask questions. Let your friend know that you care, and you’re interested in learning about their experience and what they’re going through.
  • Focus on what your friend needs now. Depending on your friend’s situation, they may need different things from you. Try to determine what your friend is going through and base your behaviour on what they may need.

Support services available:

If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and are struggling with your journey, or you are an ally wanting to find out more about the community, we recommend checking out these links below:
LGBT Foundation:
Mind for LGBTQIA+:
MindLine Trans:

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One of the keys to a better version of you, mentally and physically, is sleeping well. We want all of our industry members to sleep as well as they can that’s why EIC have partnered with Sleepstation. Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you learn how to control and optimise your sleep to get the best sleep possible. Designed by experts and backed by science, the online service is proven to combat even the most severe insomnia. Their team will help you identify the underlying causes of your sleep problem and provide the personal support and guidance needed to improve your sleep. Sleepstation delivers remote care with a personal touch and that's what makes it so effective. Therapeutic support through Sleepstation is available to those in need and meeting our charity eligibility criteria.

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