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Inspiring others to embrace their authentic selves

IMOW Kate Gornas

Our vision is to create supportive, inclusive, and sustainable Communities for everyone. 

In 2023, we launched our Inclusion and Belonging group, which offers a collective voice for our People and is split into six employee-led Community Sub Groups. It gives a platform to the unique perspectives of those with lived experiences and those committed to addressing inequalities. Ultimately, we want to ensure our LGBTQ+ Colleagues and Customers feel supported and are represented in all areas of our organisation. 

As we enter Pride Month 2024, we caught up with Kate Gornas, UX Designer at Places for People and deputy chair for our LGBTQ+ Community to discuss what Pride means to her. 

“I come from Poland where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. Human rights have always been a core value for me. I couldn't understand why people weren't treated with respect. One of my earliest memories during childhood was my close friend who faced exclusion for loving another girl. From this moment on, I was emboldened to stand up for others, fighting for equality. 

“After leaving Poland, I spent the next 14 years observing how LGBTQ+ Communities varied in different countries, living in Copenhagen and Amsterdam before making England my home for the past four years. While progress is happening, there's still a long way to go. I'm proud to say things are getting better back in Poland, however, my best friend still can't marry her fiancé. Even though we are miles apart, we stand together, stronger than ever because we truly believe we can drive change. 

“Supporting others has always been a core part of who I am, and I actively and regularly support StoneWall in my hometown. Here in the UK, I'm taking an even more active role in creating positive change by deputy chairing our LGBTQ+ Community and I love being part of it. 

“On our internal platform, Viva Engage, I champion the LGBTQ+ Community and promote content which shows good allyship, dismantles harmful stereotypes, and celebrates inclusive language. By fostering open communication and celebrating inclusivity, I hope to inspire positive actions and create a safe space for everyone to be themselves. 

“As a User Experience designer, my job is about listening to people, asking the right questions, and introducing solutions that ensure everyone feels included, regardless of their needs; I think my two roles go hand in hand together.

“As part of being a good ally, I don't assume, I ask and listen. My own experiences - being a bisexual woman with ADHD and dyslexia- give me a unique perspective on the challenges faced by marginalised Communities. I want to be an open and visible advocate, inspiring others to embrace their authentic selves. My mission is to fight for a better future. One driven by positive change. I believe inclusion starts with each of us.”

As our People Promises say: Be respectful, Earn Respect, and that’s all we ask of you this month, when we hope you’ll take the opportunity to celebrate Pride with us. 

Read more heart-warming stories from our Customers and People

We hope you found this story inspirational. If you would like to read more stories from around the Places for People organisation, check out more of our In My Own Words stories.  

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