Compared to some of the large blue chip organisations within our industry F.E.S. (EX) operates at a relatively smaller scale, but despite this we are a big advocate of inclusivity and diversity within the workplace. We have an extensive policy in place, which is enshrined within our operations; we have a zero tolerance policy against any form of discrimination.
Ellé Fulcher-Fenty has recently been promoted to Commercial Director of F.E.S. (EX) Limited; to achieve this as a young professional whilst being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is something she is extremely proud of, and she has the full support of the company.
What do you think our industry could do to be more inclusive?
“In my view, for there to be a faster rate of progression with regards to inclusivity/diversity, there needs to be more representation of LGBTQ+ people in key positions. Of course, there are great allies within the industry that are really helping to assist with awareness and change, but to have members of the community within key roles, I believe this would really help queer people feel like their career goals are achievable and ensure effective policies/schemes are put in place.
Pride month is being embraced more and more within the industry, with the most visible change being that organisations are altering their brand identity to incorporate the use of pride colours; which is great for awareness, but it’s also key that this act is supported with real actions; through engagement with the community all year round and actively listening to experiences, organisations can establish ways they can become a productive ally by incorporating changes within the workplace such as reviewing LGBTQ+ policies, provide inclusivity and diversity training and listing pronouns.”
What is the biggest professional challenge as a member of the LGBTQ+ community?
“I think the biggest challenge that I have faced not only professionally, but also on a personal level is the automatic assumption people make about relationships. When I have made references to my partner (now wife) within meetings or even in a local shop there is often the assumption that my partner would be a male. People should be more sensitive to assuming sexuality and the use of pronouns. By having to then correct people and say that my partner is a female it makes you feel like you are “coming out” again.
From my personal experience, my work colleagues were nothing but supportive and have always created a safe space to talk openly to them about my experiences, and also wanted to gain a better understanding of the community and how they can support.”
Ellé Fulcher-Fenty MSc (She/Her) – Commercial Director of F.E.S. (EX) Ltd.
*Note these views are my own and do not represent opinions of any entity which I work for/with.