British Airways supports the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, both within our organisation and amongst our customers. By recognising and embracing the differences in our staff and customers we help to promote an inclusive environment that treats everyone according to their individual needs. On our web site at ba.com we have a dedicated page, Flying with Pride for our LGBT customers, which focuses on our involvement in Gay Pride, highlights fares to popular LGBT destinations and outlines our diversity commitment for anyone interested in joining British Airways.
Suzi James is an IT Portfolio Manager at British Airways. Here she tells her story about her gender reassignment and her diversity work within the company.
“I know that British Airways wants people of every sexual orientation to feel valued at work – it provides us with the strength to deliver excellent customer service worldwide. My personal experience, and those of other employees involved, helps British Airways evolve more effective diversity strategies within the company and with customers.
I work with our Sexual Orientation Strategy Group and our employee network group BANGLES (British Airways Network for Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender Employees), as well as external organisations such as Stonewall, to create understanding amongst colleagues about the impact of sexual orientation issues. We also work closely with our commercial department to provide tailored offers for the LGBT market.
My gender reassignment over ten years ago was a very positive experience, with the support of colleagues, friends and family. For example, after informing my colleagues of my transition at the time, I received dozens of emails, all supportive.
Through my various roles and locations within British Airways I have met and worked alongside people of all kinds of backgrounds, and over the years have witnessed increasing enlightenment and understanding. This is not necessarily true for everyone everywhere. Misunderstanding and lack of knowledge remains in some areas, which can lead to bullying and unequal treatment. Through the Sexual Orientation Strategy Group, and as a member of BANGLES, I hope to help in some small way to overcome such intolerance. BANGLES aims to connect LGBT staff throughout the airline to share information, ideas, learning and experience and so support their personal and professional success. We meet professionally and socially through the network.
British Airways is an active Stonewall Diversity Champion, which allows us to network and share information on sexual orientation equality with over 600 other employers across the UK. We also take part in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, which help us to evaluate our workplace practices on sexual orientation equality, to make sure British Airways is being fair as an employer.”