Celebrating Pride and Fostering Inclusion: Insights from Searcys Team Members30 June 2023
Pride Month is a time of celebration, reflection, and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community. At Searcys, team members express their unique perspectives on Pride and share their thoughts on fostering a more inclusive workplace. In celebration of Pride, we sat down with a few team members to discuss their experiences:
Terry Harris – Senior Banqueting Supervisor – He/Him
“I started in November 2019 and I am the supervisor for the banqueting team. Our team is made up of 15 team members and we run the events at The Barbican.”
Terry has celebrated Pride by attending events, such as Brighton Pride and London Pride, and volunteering with Romford Pride. When asked about being a good ally, Terry emphasises equality, saying, “I am a big believer in equality. I treat everyone equally and so should other people. Treat everyone the same.”
To raise awareness about important issues impacting the global LGBTQIA+ community, Terry acknowledges the support and the spirit of inclusivity at Searcys, stating, “Searcys is a supportive work environment, as is The Barbican. They encourage and support the teams.”
Ana Mendez – Deputy General Manager – Her/she
“I’ve been with Searcys for about 8 years now. I am the Deputy General Manager at 116 Pall Mall, and I run the daily operations for a large-size venue. I run the front of house, back of house, and planning events team.”
Ana celebrates Pride every day and believes in raising awareness, stating, “Where I work, I like to raise awareness. Why we do it, what we do, where it came from. We celebrate it with my friends.”
Reflecting on what it means to be a good ally, Ana shares the importance of learning and understanding; “I think being able to understand what has been achieved and what needs to be done. Not just an ally but to challenge straight people”.
To raise awareness about important LGBTQIA+ issues during Pride Month, Ana suggests focusing on topics such as transgender rights, saying, “This year, talk about trans awareness, it’s one of the biggest topics right now in the community. Be proud of who you are. Trans people have rights too.”
Jonet De Jesus Espinal Pena – Restaurant Manager – He/Him
“I am the manager at Bonfire at the Barbican, I have been here for now 2 years. I manage Bonfire’s front-of-house mostly, but also look after back -of-house, to support our culinary team. I look over our business KPIs, our finances and the day-to-day handling.”
Coming from the Dominican Republic, Jonet shares his experience of finding acceptance and difficulties he faced in his home country, “it was a place I couldn’t be me. It wasn’t until I moved here when I realised that being unique is celebrated and something to be proud of. Race, religious belief, sexual orientation… it doesn’t matter.”
“This is the first company I feel 100% at ease”, share Jonet, “homophobic jokes are never funny and make me feel uncomfortable. These are still happening in other places I’ve worked. I want to feel accepted, and a work environment has to allow you to be who you are”.
To raise awareness during Pride Month, Jonet focuses on the struggles faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in less fortunate countries, saying, “we must highlight countries that are not as fortunate as us, Africa, the Middle East, even places in Europe. People cannot be themselves. Other queer people need to support and work with charities that support that cause.”
Searcys is a multi-cultural company and continues to prioritise creating safe spaces for team members to express their identities openly, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and diverse community. Hearing from our fantastic team has taught us that raising awareness and providing information is key to starting that conversation and making positive changes in our workplace.
We are proud to have an inclusive and diverse culture, where everyone belongs, we always believe that diversity brings benefits for our customers, communities, and most importantly for our people. Join us today, find exciting opportunities here Careers at Searcys | Chefs, Sales, Marketing, Front of House “