Inclusivity and acceptance - what Pride means to me

  • Lifestyle
  • 2 minute read

Our LGBTQ+ network, Unity, is an elected committee which brings together LGBTQ+ allies from across the Close Brothers group, to create an inclusive environment to allow everyone, regardless of how they identify in terms of their gender or sexuality, to thrive at work.

Chief Operating Officer and Board member for Close Brothers Group, Martyn Atkinson, is the Network Executive Sponsor of our Unity network. Here he shares his feelings on inclusivity, acceptance, and what Pride means to him.


  • Who are your role models and why?

I have two – my mum and my wife. My mum made so many personal sacrifices and did all she could to give my brother and I the best start in life, including working two jobs. And then my wife – she’s a brilliant mum and inspiration to my two young daughters.


  • What does Pride mean to you?

Pride to me means the opportunity to recognise and celebrate diversity, to ensure everyone's voices are heard and that we celebrate equality.


  • There are lots of definitions about what an ally is. What does being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community mean to you?

To me it means supporting and acting in the pursuit of equality… we are all born equal - it’s important to me to support that quest of inclusivity and acceptance.


  • What’s something that you think we can all do to ensure LGBTQ+ inclusion both in and out of work?

I think there’s a number of ways. Inside of work, there are going to be special Pride themed events and it’s a great way to engage and understand more about the Pride movement. Outside of work, it can be as simple as supporting a friend in their Pride events, or maybe attending local LGBTQ+ events… they really are great fun.


  • What do you hope the next 50 years will bring for the LGBTQ+ community?

I hope that in 50 years time, we are actually celebrating that inclusivity, acceptance and equality is the norm, rather than striving to make people understand it should be the norm.


An LGTBQ+ inclusive environment

At Close Brothers we are passionate about fairness and equality, and we’re committed to building an inclusive environment that enables all of our colleagues, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, to thrive.


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