Colts Caroline Griffin Pain discusses driving LTBQ change

Colt's Caroline Griffin Pain discusses driving LTBQ change

 September 27, 2023

 Read time

With Colt Technology Services consistently forging an inclusive workplace, Colt's General Counsel Caroline Griffin Pain spoke with news website Cyber Security Intelligence about driving positive change for LGBTQ inclusion. 

"As a sector that’s always ready for change, you’d think that this industry would have been ready for people transformation, an evolving workforce focused on diversity, equity and inclusion," says Caroline. "And while the tech sector is one of the more progressive industries, the LGBTQ+ community can feel a little left out."

Elevating the voices of underrepresented groups

IWith a significant focus on getting more women into the technology industry, any organisation with over 250 employees in the UK must publish its gender pay gap, and so organisations experience a certain level of accountability regarding gender equality. "Unfortunately, such requirements do not exist for LGBTQ+ inclusion even though the LGBTQ+ pay gap is almost double the gender pay gap at 16 per cent," shares Caroline. "With a lack of data, combined with a larger pay gap, it’s no wonder so many LGBTQ+ people hide their true selves at work. This is why it is so important to look out for the LGBTQ+ community."

"LGBTQ+ charity, AKT, describes being an ally as people “who try to use their influence to elevate the voices of underrepresented groups and help bring their struggles larger mainstream discussion.” Put simply, it’s someone who is looking out for others, and giving them the support they need. As tech organisations, we need to educate people on the importance of being an ally and the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community to truly build an inclusive culture."

Employers have a significant role to play 

Caroline explains that being an ally goes well beyond the individual, and if employers are flying a rainbow flag in June, they need to be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community all year round. Most employres will have a code of conduct protecting people against discrimination, but Caroline says employers must look deeper into their policies, training and learning sessions to ensure people feel included. 

"As technology companies, we need to put our people first," suggests Caroline. "If your organisation operates in a country that isn’t LGBTQ+ friendly, you must reiterate the protections your employees have when they are working for you."

Additionally, training and education can create a culture shift, teaching people how to treat LGBTQ+ people. With 53 per cent of LGBTQ+ people being reluctant to come out at work due to jokes, and 1 in 5 being told they need to dress more masculine or feminine, there is a responsibility for employers – and across the industry - to create a culture shift.

Thinking outside the box

"While LGBTQ+ inclusion is important, we must look at all angles of diversity and inclusion with an intersectional lens," explains Caroline. Intersectionality can be defined as the acknowledgment that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression, and everything and anything that can marginalise people must be considered. "People can be marginalised from multiple angles. LGBTQ+ people may belong to multiple groups such as being a person of colour, or identifying as a woman which means that they could experience the marginalisation of those groups as well as being LGBTQ+," says Caroline. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution to LGBTQ+ inclusion, but as tech organisations, we all have a vital role in fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels included and takes a continuous learning approach. We can’t “get it right” 100 per cent of the time, but if we try, we’re already on the right path."

Dedicated to building a more diverse workplace

As General Counsel, Caroline holds global responsibility for the Legal and Regulatory teams, the Company Secretariat and the Country Manager organisation. She is also responsible for Colt’s ESG strategy, including sustainability and diversity and inclusion. Dedicated to building a more diverse workplace, Caroline is a mentor and Diversity sponsor, championing inclusivity. She is also Chairman of the Corporate Compliance Committee, dealing with Whistleblowing and Ethics and is responsible for implementing and monitoring Colt’s anti-bribery programme. She oversees corporate governance at Colt and acts as Secretary to the Board, Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee.

Caroline previously held senior roles at the Reuters joint venture, Radianz, and Rea Brothers Group plc. She qualified as a solicitor in 1990.

As an LGTBQ ally, Caroline was recognised on the OUTstanding 50 LGBT+ Executives List in 2022. 

Read the article in full

Find a great role at Colt Technology Services 

Colt Technology Services creates a sense of belonging for its people, enabling them to contribute and work well together.

Help forge change in a rewarding role with Colt


Search jobs

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


Join our women's careers community