FAMILY values, such a caring for each other, supporting each other and helping each other to thrive have created a culture of warmth and belonging at VetPartners.
You can feel the personal approach that has gone into creating an open, inclusive environment, where everyone can be themselves and work without prejudice.
It’s very easy to shout about LGBTQIA+ issues once a year, but investing in your LGBTQIA+ employees isn’t just about changing your logo to rainbow colours during Pride month – it’s much more about welcoming, embracing, listening to, and nurturing your colleagues all year around.
This is what I have seen at VetPartners, certainly from the top down, particularly over the last year, and I feel happy to be a part of it.
As a committee member of the British Veterinary LGBT+ society, I was proud that VetPartners sponsored our Winter Pride event, allowing a virtual coming together of LGBTQIA+ veterinary professionals around the UK for a day focused on wellbeing.
You may wonder why specific focus on LGBTQIA+ colleagues is so important that it must roll around each year. Why should your gender or social identity, or indeed who you love, affect where or how you work? The answer is that it probably shouldn’t, but it can still deeply affect the way many navigate a veterinary career.
From the innocuous conversation about your weekend plans with colleagues, to assumptions or comments made by clients, microaggressions, ‘jokes’ and societal pressures on top can really burden and distress our colleagues, who may find themselves unable to be themselves at work– something that most take for granted.
That’s why we have awareness months and campaigns – to remind us all that, while we all have our various struggles, there are ways in which everyone can make LGBTQIA+ lives happier and safer if we each make small efforts.
It’s been clear to me lately that VetPartners places inclusivity and diversity at the heart of how it progresses as a company, and that is something I really value in a workplace. I’ve also watched as policies are modified to be as inclusive as possible, to protect and nurture a diverse workforce and to emphasise the importance of making it even more so.
I’ve spoken before about how I’ve never really felt like my sexuality was something I had to get over, but I hugely appreciate that many do struggle to come to terms with their identity (in all its spheres!).
That’s why I hope that when VetPartners’ proud LGBTQIA+ ambassadors help the group celebrate Pride month, it is not viewed as tokenism, but as a genuine willingness of all of us to say, if you aren’t in a position of wanting to shout about who you are (or even who you think you might be), we are here for you – and you won’t find barriers to your career or comfort here.
We all want a workplace where we feel celebrated and invested in. We are working really hard behind the scenes on this being exactly that place.
- Ami Sawran is Practice Principal at Westpoint Farm Vets in Chelmsford. She graduated from Liverpool University in 2011, before undertaking a farm animal internship in production animal health and welfare at the Royal Veterinary College alongside Westpoint. As well as undertaking all aspects of commercial farm work, her main interests lie in production animal welfare and smallholding. She’s most at home taking care of the particular needs of hobby and open farms, and smallholdings. Ami heads up the small ruminant and camelid working group at Westpoint, and the Camelid working group at VetPartners.
For media enquiries and to arrange an interview with Ami, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email email@example.com