three shelves with bottles lined up

How we're doing on the journey towards being more inclusive

How we're doing on the journey towards being more inclusive

Steven Miles our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 24/06/2022

What are the first three words that spring to mind when you hear LGBTQ+? For Tom - Area Manager at All Bar One - it’s pride, education and acceptance.

Tom joined us back in 2008 as a Junior Team Leader and worked with Premium Country Pubs for 11 years where he learnt what it takes to be a great manager. But he had his sights set on a job at All Bar One in the West End. So in 2020, he packed up his bags and made the move from Surrey to London. For Tom, London’s diverse and multicultural scene felt like a much better fit.

So why are we introducing you to Tom? He’s been with the company for 13 years now - and worked in hospitality even longer - and he’s seen some changes over that time. So, we wanted to find out a little bit more. There will be no spoilers here though. You’ll have to read on to hear what he had to say.

What is M&B doing to be more inclusive?

“Creating partnerships with established charities like Ask for Clive. It's important because people see the support that you're giving. But also, our guests and potential employees know that our businesses are inclusive places.

The vast majority of people at M&B are not LGBTQ+, so they have a huge part to play in this as well. As a company, we want to be at the front of the march. So All Bar One has partnered with Absolut, a company that believes in 'Taking Pride in Diversity', and that has released a new Pride bottle every year since 2008. For Pride Month, we’ve made a special cocktail, Absolut Queen, where a portion of the proceeds will be going to Ask for Clive.

To add to what Tom has to say, we’re in the process of finalising a resource centre that everyone can turn to, from board members to part-time team members. It will have links to mental health and wellbeing resources, a chat forum for people to share their stories and ask questions, and more.

How have things changed since you joined M&B?

“In the last few years, there’s a lot more conversation about the LGBTQ+ community at a company level and executive meetings.

I’ve never felt treated differently at M&B for being a gay person. But there have been recent developments, like partnering with Ask for Clive, the M&Be Yourself Facebook group and the sharing of lots of internal resources, that show we’re becoming naturally more aware.”

M&Be Yourself is a Facebook group that Tom and his colleagues, all from different backgrounds and levels in the organisation, set up to build awareness. The group now has over 500 members who are joining the conversation. They’re using this space to ask us questions such as changing gender pronouns on our payroll system. These are amazing questions that we can then take to the executive team, and we want to keep the discussion free-flowing.

Why is a job at M&B a great option for the LGBTQ+ community?

“The hospitality workforce is diverse. I’ve had more exposure to LGBTQ+ members and allies in my work life than in my personal life. I’ve always felt very comfortable working at M&B, and I’ve never experienced anything but support. So, we need to shout louder, as a company and as an industry, about how inclusive we are and how we’re a safe environment.”

If anyone wanted to play a bigger part in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, how could they get involved?

“Within the company, get involved in all our Pride initiatives and events. And make the time to look at the resources we’re sharing internally.

Outside of the company, people should educate themselves. There’s a wealth of resources on the internet, and I think people who want to do something should start by learning. It's about support and equality.”

Come and find your place within M&B

Every month is Pride Month at M&B, after all, it’s in our company values. We’re always pushing to make our spaces more inclusive for our teams and our guests. As Tom highlighted, it’s all about education. This is why we’re creating more places for people to share their experiences and help others learn.

If you think M&B might be the place for you, we’ll help you find exactly where that place is. It might be deep in the countryside, by the coast, or slap bang in the middle of the city. Wherever it is, you can be sure you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

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