News and stories08 September 2020
Proud to B United at our R&D centre
In a year that has seen Pride celebrations cancelled around the world, our colleagues in Southampton, UK, have brought some added colour to their site in support of our LGBTQ+ community.
The team have added rainbow stripes throughout our R&D centre to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is central to our ethos as we strive to meet the diverse needs of our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Following the lighting up of BAT’s London HQ in rainbow colours in June, discussions took place between B United – our self-governed global network of LGBTQ+ employees – and the team in Southampton about how to show similar support at our R&D centre. With backing from B United allies including David O’Reilly, Director, Scientific Research and James Barrett, our Group Finance Controller and Group Head of M&A, a bold plan was put in place to incorporate rainbows across the site.
And just a few weeks later, after lots of hard work, the site was awash with colour, inspired by the ‘Philadelphia people of colour inclusive’ version of the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag.
David O’Reilly said: “I am proud to be a part of an organisation that recognises the importance of building a diverse and inclusive workforce. The colours on our buildings symbolise strength of our LGBTQ+ community and how we hope everyone can continue feeling safe and comfortable being their true selves in both Southampton and within BAT. We are proud to B United.”
Jay Morris, Laboratory Manager, added: “The flags in Southampton symbolise the values of solidarity, collectiveness and identity. It’s about ensuring everyone feels welcome and comfortable in their own skin.”