One question I often ask myself is how I can help people really be themselves at work, and do that comfortably and effortlessly. While, 30 years ago, my law school wasn’t a diverse place, which sometimes made my ethnicity alienating for me, I know that, as a white, straight male, I haven't had to overcome many hurdles in bringing my whole self to work. And I know for others it's sometimes not that easy. I want to help where I can to remove any barriers to people feeling free to be themselves.
There'll be a lot of people who want to help and want to be allies, and don't know how. Some people might be worried they'll say the wrong thing, or feel they need to commit a lot of time or energy to being an ally. But it's really simple. Just ask. Just ask your colleagues and friends how you can best support them. You don't have to politicise it or be loud about your support if you don’t want to; and if you do want to, you can. You just have to turn up, and be a friend to someone.
Show up to the office LGBTQ+ network drinks (our group is called ALLin, which I think is incredibly apt as we talk about the role of allies and supporters). Stand alongside your LGBTQ+ friends at ALLin events, just like you would at any other event – and stand next to them wherever else it counts. And don't just do it once. Keep doing it and keep showing your support.
There's nothing about more acceptance, inclusion and support that isn’t better than having less of these things. As a partner of a firm that is committed to being 'in it together', I like knowing that I can play a role as an ally in fostering true inclusion.