Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT): Pioneering LGBTIQA+ Inclusion - The Equality Network

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT): Pioneering LGBTIQA+ Inclusion

Our Collaborative Journey

At The Equality Network, we believe that every space—whether in life or in rest—should be inclusive. Our partnership with the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) exemplifies our commitment to fostering a more welcoming and understanding environment, even in the solemn moments of life.

The Challenge

Spread across nine sites, SMCT is entrusted with the care of our loved ones’ final resting places. With approximately 240 staff members, some of whom are presumably LGBTIQA+, SMCT recognized the need to elevate its inclusivity efforts.

Benchmarking and Recommendations

Our journey began with an audit. The Equality Network meticulously reviewed SMCT’s principal HR-related documents and publicly accessible website. Our goal? To benchmark the organisation’s current state and provide a set of LGBTQIA+ inclusive recommendations. We wanted to ensure that every document and online resource reflected the spirit of acceptance.

Empowering the People and Governance Teams

The heart of our work lay with the People and Governance Teams at SMCT. These teams play a pivotal role in HR and employee-related matters. We conducted a comprehensive 12-hour LGBTIQA+ inclusion training course for 16 staff members from these teams. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, reinforcing our shared commitment to creating a more inclusive workplace.

These initiatives will lead to greater inclusion of LGBTIQA+ staff at SMCT, inclusion that is authentic, rather than tokenistic, and enduring, rather than a series of one-off ‘tick the box’ exercises.

Bronte Price – Inclusion Builder The Equality Network

Next Steps: A Rainbow Advisory Group and Cultural Safety

Our journey continues. The Equality Network proposes two critical next steps:

  • Establishing a Rainbow Advisory Group: We believe in giving voice to those who matter most. This representative group of LGBTIQA+ employees at SMCT will actively shape policies and practices that affect them directly.
  • Pulse Survey for Cultural Safety: In collaboration with the Rainbow Advisory Group and other stakeholders, we plan to conduct a pulse survey. This survey will gauge the cultural safety levels experienced by SMCT’s LGBTIQA+ staff. Their insights will guide our ongoing efforts.
  • Action plan: To develop and conduct, in collaboration with the rainbow advisory group and others, a medium-term LGBTIQA+ inclusion action plan.

These initiatives will lead to greater inclusion of LGBTIQA+ staff at SMCT, inclusion that is authentic, rather than tokenistic, and enduring, rather than a series of one-off ‘tick the box’ exercises.

Together, We Honor Life and Diversity

As we honour those who have passed, let us also honour diversity. SMCT’s commitment to inclusivity ensures that every soul finds solace, regardless of identity. The Equality Network stands by your side, ready to create spaces where everyone belongs.

Start the Conversation Today

Take the first step toward a more inclusive workplace. We will guide your team through eye-opening discussions, practical scenarios, and actionable strategies. Let’s build a culture where everyone feels valued and heard.