The story behind our LGBTQ+ inclusion network

Frontier Spectrum is our LGBTQ+ inclusion network.

We began in 2018, when a small group of us – with strong support from our People Director – got together to think about how we could ensure that Frontier offers a safe and open environment for people to bring their full selves to work. We now have a group of about half a dozen of us from different offices, roles and grades on the team, as well as a broader social community.

Bringing people together

Spectrum is for everyone at Frontier. We aim to raise LGBTQ+ visibility and bring people together, by promoting a safe and open environment, a diverse and inclusive culture, and offering a forum for LGBT staff and allies.

We believe that it’s crucial that everyone at Frontier feels comfortable being open about their sexuality and gender. In just a few years, we’ve  really helped to shift the culture at Frontier and support all our wider values as a firm. We recognise that a truly open and inclusive environment cannot be assumed but requires explicit actions.

We run lots of great activities both for the network and the firm. Our annual ‘Pride Week’ in June is now a highlight of the Frontier year, including everything from cakes and crafting across all our offices, watch-alongs of Drag Race UK, Pose and Queer Eye, our recommendations of the best queer media, resources and information, and a Frontier meet-up at the London Pride parade. We even managed to keep the spirit of Pride going during lockdown with the inevitable lockdown quiz – though ours was the only one with a dedicated Eurovision round.

Learning from others

We invite external speakers to talk to colleagues about their fascinating, diverse experiences. In the last few years, for example, we’ve heard from:

  • Caroline Paige, the first openly serving trans officer in the British Armed Forces;
  • the Revered Jide Macaulay, founder of the House of Rainbow which works to promote inclusion among BAME members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies;
  • Joanne Lockwood, founder of SEE Change Happen, on why we still need Pride 50 years after the first London Pride parade; and
  • BBC journalist Evan Davis speaking about his career and the issue of economics and identity.

We’ve talked openly with colleagues about our own experiences of being LGBT+ at Frontier, hosted sessions for colleagues to think about gender, and highlighted the roles of allyship and activism. And we raise money for charity, including promoting World AIDS Day, where we’ve raised a total of more than £3,000 over the last five years for the National AIDS Trust.

We also put on fun events throughout the year open to all, whether that’s drinks in Soho, theatre trips, or just a chance to relax with colleagues in the office.

We work with other remits and networks at Frontier, such as the fun team and our wellbeing team, to collaborate on activities and events to help reach as wide a group as we can throughout the firm. We’ve joined up with our disability network Brilliance to spotlight National Coming Out Day and the parallels of coming out as LGBTQ+ and being neurodiverse.  

What the future holds

We’re increasingly connecting Spectrum externally. We’ve been to inclusion events run by the Economist and Stonewall, and we’re connecting with other networks run by our clients and collaborators –a couple of us were even lucky enough to be invited to a movie screening at Disney’s London HQ run by their employee network (and yes, we did get to meet Mickey Mouse).

As we grow both as a firm and an employee-led inclusion network, we’re really looking forward to what else we can do to help make sure everyone at Frontier can be their authentic selves at work, and learning more from and about each other and the diverse backgrounds that have led us all to working here.

Spectrum is part of a wider Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Programme at Frontier. We have four other employee networks focusing on gender (Prism), ethnicity, culture and religion (Kaleidoscope), disability (Brilliance) and support for those with caring responsibilities (Working Families Group).