As London Pride approaches, Post Office’s Chief Marketing Officer Emma Springham reflects on the importance of modern, forward-thinking leadership teams and the role they have in shaping today’s society.
From the moment I arrived at my interview with Post Office, I knew it was the role and company for me. The rainbow pride flag was printed across the door and entrance floor. I immediately felt comfortable and able to be my authentic self.
I’m passionate about inspiring and leading change – in particular when it comes to inclusion and diversity – and being part of the senior management team at Post Office affords me this opportunity. Modern, forward-thinking leadership is the only way businesses can work towards a genuinely inclusive environment. Companies must be open to taking a stand on these issues if we are to ensure all employees feel they are not just accepted but valued equally. I didn’t feel I could come out in the workplace until I was 25, so I know how difficult it is to feel like you’re having to lead a secret life. No-one should feel that way, and I’m now proud to be part of an organisation that sets leadership standards when it comes to inclusivity.
There are a number of internal policies businesses can put into place to be supportive of inclusivity and promote diversity. Formal non-discrimination policies, company-wide training on LGBT+ awareness, and levelling the playing field when it comes to health and retirement benefits coverage for same sex couples are just a few examples. But companies have a wider opportunity to positively influence society on a much bigger scale than this. As the UK’s largest retail network, Post Office has an extensive LGBT+ community and a responsibility to ensure that our employees and Postmasters can come to work and be their authentic selves. Post Office’s leadership team put emphasis on an inclusive approach to create a supportive workplace environment for everyone. Events such as Pride are a great opportunity to promote this message – but the message is one that should be celebrated all year round – locally and nationally. After all, Pride is relevant to LGBT+ people and wider communities everywhere, and at all times.
My own experiences as part of the LGBT+ community have shaped my leadership style and I often find looking back helps to understand how far society has come and the obstacles which remain to overcome. Reflecting on the history of Pride, it’s incredible to see how it has gained momentum over the years. Every year there is a visible change in the right direction and I’m looking forward to the day when I will not have to put a label on myself.
About the author
Emma Springham is the Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at Post Office
Emma, originally from Bexleyheath, joined Post Office in September 2018 after 20 years working as an entrepreneurial marketing leader heading up multi-channel teams in FTSE 100 companies, including Barclays, RBS, Coutts, Allianz and Royal Mail. She has been openly gay for 25 years and is passionate about businesses’ opportunity and responsibility to promote diversity and equality.