Jon Burns is a Human Resources Manager at Virgin Money he has worked at the organisation for over 11 years, originally joining Northern Rock in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2007. Jon is proud to be one of the founders of Virgin Money’s LGBT+ network . He also participate’s in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in the North-East England. During his time in Financial Services he has seen many changes across the industry – some negative, some positive – but one change he is delighted to see is the increased emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion. Jon states that “There has been a real positive movement towards equality in general, but especially relevant to me is the increase in LGBT+ inclusion and initiatives during this time”. As an HR professional, Jon is passionate about ensuring that all employees feel valued, respected, engaged and empowered to be their true selves and that’s why he thinks initiatives like LGBT Great are so valuable in increasing the visibility of LGBT people working in the Financial and Investment sectors. Not solely on the trading floor or front line, but also in support functions such as HR – “we’re part of the industry too!” As someone who identifies as LGBT+, Jon thinks it’s important that he lend his voice and be visible, to show that although the industry may have a reputation for fostering an “alpha male” culture, it’s possible to be an openly LGBT+ person in the Financial sector and succeed.
Jon is fortunate to be able to include an element of Diversity and Inclusion as part of his role , and also to have an employer who champions inclusion and encourages authenticity. But he understands that this isn’t universal. Jon added “We have come a long way as a society and as an industry, but there is still so far to go before we achieve true equality, particularly when it comes to full inclusion for our Trans colleagues”. I wish LGBT Great all the best with this initiative, and encourage all LGBT+ employees to be as authentic in the workplace as you feel comfortable being. If I can help, please get in touch”!