As this year’s Pride celebrations draw to a close, Sumo Group is reflecting on its progress over the past 12 months on commitments made in June 2021 to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
The Group’s intention to include and continually improve custom pronoun fields and provide education on how to model new pronoun uses is in the final stages of assessment. This includes looking at how pronouns, names and gender aligns with internal systems and infrastructure to ensure the appropriate safeguarding of those who need it most. In addition, it is looking at how to optimise the way it collects data to best support its people who fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. The Group aims to have a comprehensive plan by the end of 2022.
This year, the Group hosted trans awareness webinars delivered by Gendered Intelligence to provide a safe space for our people to educate themselves. Of the spaces available, the Group saw 98% attendance with attendees saying their knowledge had improved and calling for longer, more in-depth sessions in the future.
The Facilities team are working to make physical changes in our studios as part of the commitment to provide better accessibility in Sumo Group’s studios worldwide, including the UK, Europe, India and Vancouver. Almost half of the UK studios now offer single-sex and gender-neutral toilets including The Chinese Room, Sumo Nottingham, Auroch Digital and Lab42 Games.
Sumo Group is also committed to formalising a transition in the workplace policy to support our trans colleagues through exciting and life-changing times. As the Group works to formally deliver its transition in the workplace service, those going through their transition now are able to access paid time off for appointments, external support resources, internal communication channels to discuss name/pronoun changes at the appropriate time and help with actioning these changes across mediums.
In October 2021, the Group welcomed its first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Leon Killin who would lead the charge on the Group’s journey to inclusivity for all.
Since joining, Leon has led the creation and implementation of Prism – Sumo Group’s internal equity, diversity and inclusion initiative which puts the people of the Group at the heart of change. Within the five streams - made up of LGBTQ+, Nationality, Culture & Faith, Wellbeing, Ability & Families, Women and Ethnic Minorities – are ‘Diversity Champions’ who coordinate meetings and collate suggested actions to change at company policy level. Not only does Prism give Sumo Group’s people the opportunity to make meaningful change, but it also grants them the resources and training needed to develop their public speaking and leadership skills, as well as giving them experience in collaborating, hosting events and workshops and managing budgets.
Prism now has five streams and 16 ‘Diversity Champions’, with over 15% of Sumo Group’s global teams engaging regularly – with plans in place to see this double by 2023.
On Sumo Group’s commitments to its LGBTQ+ colleagues, Leon said: “Sumo Group is on a journey to constantly improve its policies, buildings and processes to make a safer and more inclusive environment for our LGBTQ+ people. No journey is perfect and whilst we will make mistakes along the way, we’re always listening to our people on how they want to see us improve.”
Working to do better for our LGBTQ+ colleagues doesn’t end when Pride does. Sumo Group is committed to ensuring it is listening to its people and continuing to make changes all year round.