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My Pride Story
Joanne Wheatley, Business Analyst, London

Joanne Wheatley works as a Business Analyst in our Global Business Intelligence Group and is on the committee of our Spectrum LGBT+ network. She shares her #MyPrideStory and tells us how she's celebrating Pride this year.

What does it mean to be part of the LGBT+ community?
For me, it is a sense of belonging, connection and authenticity. No one is in isolation, and I take great pride in being part of a team that works hard to encourage equality and diversity, particularly when there have been personal moments in my life that I have suffered from discrimination.

What does it mean to be your whole, authentic self at work?
As in other aspects of life, I want to be the best I can be and being able to be my true self at work allows me to do just this. I am able to build relationships with colleagues and deliver high-quality work; I am able to connect with those who identify as LGBT+ and those who do not; and these relationships foster trust, openness, team strength and personal strength.

What does the Firm do to foster a stronger sense of belonging for all?
White & Case has endorsed many resources to promote diversity and inclusion, including a global internal group, Spectrum. The group's membership is growing with members and allies from various parts of the Firm advocating equality for all.

Spectrum facilitates and organises a number of educational and celebratory engagements for LGBT+ and non-LGBT+ colleagues, ensuring that everyone feels included and understands why White & Case has such a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Why is being part of Spectrum important to you?
It is hugely important to me that everyone has access to the same opportunities and gets the same fair treatment and an equal experience irrespective of how they identify. Being part of the London Spectrum Committee allows me to take an active role in doing this and advocating for others who may not be able to do this for themselves due to any number of barriers.

How are you planning on celebrating Pride virtually this year?
This year, my virtual Pride will be FaceTime calls with friends, family, the Spectrum Committee and a mini-party with my partner in the garden. With any luck, the sun will be shining! I may not physically be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my community and march in London Pride, but I'll absolutely do it virtually!