A person’s sexuality should never dictate their career opportunities or the respect they’re due. But some still need, and are actively looking, to be educated further. That’s why Jade feels so strongly about the power of Pride – the events celebrating awareness and acceptance of the LGBT+ community.
“The reason pride is special to me is because before joining any company I am usually filled with anxiety about my sexuality: ‘should I mention it or not?’ But this wasn’t the case when I joined CCEP. I knew when joining I wouldn’t have to hide my sexuality, which was such a relief. Being able to be myself really made coming to work so much more enjoyable. I've been with my wife for 13 wonderful years now and I have never taken for granted how inclusive CCEP is! The great thing about the CCEP culture is we’re not afraid to ask questions. I’ve had colleagues ask me about gay marriage, how I would approach having children and my life in general as a gay women, and its always been out of genuine curiosity. After all, that’s how we learn right?”
This Pride, as our new #JustBe team lead, Jade wanted to do something different to thank her colleagues “for getting to know Jade the person, not Jade the lesbian!” But how do you celebrate inclusion and diversity across the whole of CCEP during the Coronavirus lockdown? That’s easy – with a big virtual party! Jade’s team worked day and night to create a Pride celebration that was loud, interactive and attended by hundreds of party-popping colleagues. And she stepped up and showed colleagues what it really means to be yourself, hoping to encourage other attendees to do the same.
“On Friday 26th June, me and DJ Crabby – one of my good friends and a fellow CCEP colleague – had the privilege of performing to hundreds of our Coca-Cola peers all over Europe, from GB to Spain to Germany to Bulgaria! My degree is in drama and I sing, so to say I enjoyed myself is the understatement of the century. And for the event to celebrate Pride, I honestly still can’t actually believe it. My vision was to reach everyone in CCEP. I wanted a feel-good event that was completely inclusive, so everyone was able to comment and interact with each other live on screen. I feel like we smashed our goal!”