PRIDE can mean many different things. Goulburn Murray Water’s Jenna Morris and Chloe Warburton agree it comes down to embracing diversity and equal rights.
“I guess pride means standing up for what I believe in and creating equal rights for everybody,” said Jenna.
“Everybody matters. It doesn’t matter your size, shape, colour, gender, sexuality, or your cultural background – everybody deserves respect and to be treated equally,” she added.
Jenna is a representative on GMW’s staff-led Pride Network and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) Pride in Water Network. Both have been set up to share resources, raise awareness, build workplace and community connections and a network of allies and leaders.
“The reason that I joined was to help celebrate and support the pride community. It is a community that is close to my heart, and I love that I can bring some awareness to the workplace and the community,” said Jenna.
Identifying as bisexual, Jenna said it was important for her to promote GMW as a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone is accepted and valued.
“It’s also about accepting people exactly as they are and accepting what they stand for. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s choices and views, but you do need to respect them,” she said.
Chloe who also sits on the Pride Network said she joined as an ally for the LGBTQI+ community, to be a voice for those who didn’t feel comfortable or safe to stand up and to drive important conversations and opportunities for education and awareness in the diversity space.
“In northern Victoria there’s a lot of small rural towns where there’s often quite prevalent attitudes about LGBTQI people and it can be quite difficult to stamp out, but we just want to show that there are safe spaces and there are safe people to have those conversations, and everyone deserves the right to be equal,” said Chloe.
By celebrating Pride Month in the workplace, Chloe and Jenna hope to generate more awareness and conversation around diversity and see the organisation’s Pride Network grow.