In honour of Pride, we caught up with Tony Brindley, Packaging Process Engineer at Tate & Lyle in the United States, to learn about his perspective on celebrating Pride and progressing equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in the workplace.
Being seen, heard and valued
During the month of June, the world’s LGBTQ+ communities, including ours at Tate & Lyle, have come together with their allies to celebrate the freedom to be themselves. “LGBTQ+ individuals have not always been ‘seen’ while working in industry. Celebrating Pride in the workplace creates visibility and exposure in a positive way, while also fostering an inclusive culture. Being seen – and subsequently heard and valued – as a unique person gives everyone the opportunity to play to our strengths and work together,” Tony said.
Over the last 14 years of his career, he noted that this celebration hasn’t always extended to the workplace, which has been especially true for the manufacturing setting. However, the workplace of today has experienced a positive shift in inclusion and the celebration of Pride is one way to see how perception is changing. During the 17 months Tony has spent at Tate & Lyle, he has felt that the company’s commitment to employees being seen, heard and valued has been followed through on with action. One example of this is the Proud Place Employee Resource Group (ERG).
The group's mission is to create a positive and safe environment for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies across the global while encouraging the celebration of diversity and assisting in the education of our Tate & Lyle colleagues. Initially named as the LGBTQ+ ERG, the group recently underwent a renaming to become known as the Proud Place.
“I'm excited about the new name of Proud Place because it fosters a safe and supportive space for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as allies. This group has the potential to promote greater acceptance and visibility of our community at Tate & Lyle by standing up and being unashamedly proud of who we are,” shared Tony.
He also noted ERG participation as one of the ways he encourages others to help make a difference and progress ED&I in a positive way. ERGs give their members the chance to open the floor for discussions that make our workplace a better place. This is true across other ERGs as well since individuals may identify with more than one ERG mission. Whether its Proud Place for LGBTQ+, IGNITE for women, or VETS for veterans, the solutions brought forward from their conversations and connections are stronger and serve individuals from the point of intersectionality.
Courage sparks progress
Diversity of thought is a critical driver in crowdsourcing solutions to the world’s problems. The key to unlocking this potential in our workplace? According to Tony, it’s the ability and courage to bring your authentic self to work.
“Diversity of thought is a critical driver in crowdsourcing solutions to the world’s problems and enables a better way forward for all of us. We are inherently multidimensional as humans, and we must bring forward solutions at the point of intersectionality to make a positive impact in the future.” – Tony Brindley
He explained further that the ability to bring your authentic self to the workplace takes support and bravery. Tony noted that when individuals can have candid conversations in the workplace without the stress of hiding their authentic self, then the focus can be placed on collaborating to accomplish success — for individuals, the group and the company. “The courage to be your authentic self at work is a spark to progressing ED&I that I am both proud of and continuously inspired by,” said Tony, “…it brings diversity of thought to the forefront of collaboration and unlocks the potential for everyone involved.”
Taking a stand
At Tate & Lyle, we want our employees to feel empowered to shape the conversation around issues close to their hearts that affect their daily lives, which is vital in the inclusive culture of our business. This platform serves as an opportunity to share perspectives and encourages others to take action that drives real impact. Whether it's listening to colleagues, engaging in educational events or inspiring others to advocate for positive change, we appreciate the collective effort made every day from our colleagues and partners. We’re excited to make a positive impact on the world – together.
Interested in joining our inclusive workforce? Visit our careers site to explore our open roles and discover a world of opportunity.