The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a lot of emphasis being placed on people’s mental wellbeing – and at BAT we have worked hard to ensure our employees have stayed connected during this time.
04 June 2021
We have around 20 employee networks across all levels of our Group and they have all played their part as we’ve adapted to the “new normal”.
One of these groups is B United, the BAT global network of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and questioning (LGBTQ+) employees. While it’s been an unusual year for B United, with all scheduled ‘in person’ events cancelled due to COVID, the network has redoubled its efforts to ensure all its members have stayed connected.
B United plays a crucial role in reaffirming BAT’s commitment to diversity and inclusion – a central part of the BAT ethos. The network has been especially keen to support its members who returned home during COVID to places where being open about their sexuality may pose difficulties.
B United President Damian De Conno said: “It’s been a challenging year for everyone and we’ve tried, as a network, to make sure all of our members have had a safe, welcome place to come to when they need it.
“We want our people to be able to thrive at work and we feel as a group that we’ve been able to stay connected and make a difference to the people who’ve needed support.”
Damian added: “Nothing beats being able to get together in person and, once things open up, we hope to have a very active rest of the year.”
B United certainly has great plans for the rest of 2021. The now traditional lighting up of BAT’s London headquarters in the LGBTQ+ rainbow colours is due to take place later this month, while a virtual panel session for employees will focus on what diversity means at BAT.
COVID permitting, London’s Pride event will take place in September, with a sister event in Southampton, UK, in November and a host of other events scheduled for 2021.
To find out more about some of our diversity and inclusion initiatives, click here.