My name is Matty, I’m 25, and I work as a Senior Recruitment Partner on the National Tutoring Programme at Randstad UK, leading on generating and assessing candidates. I am an avid reader, (gay)mer, football fan, and I’m gay. 

Now, I see being gay as just a part of who I am, as proud of it as I am of being an Everton fan or of my success at work. But it hasn’t always been that way. There was a time when I felt a lot of shame about my sexuality, I felt wrong in being different to my friends, from nearly everyone I could see on TV and films. As a teenager, being gay took up a lot of my headspace. Fear of being outed, losing friends, family, bullying. The internalised homophobia, kindly bestowed upon me by a society that didn’t see people like me as equal, made me question the type of life I could lead… was happiness still an option? As a teen, I was constantly worried about this, and it stole parts of my joy and my personality from me as I felt that I needed to hide to get through secondary school.

But through research, increased and improved media representation of positive queer stories, a supportive family and network of friends, and a slight obsession with watching people’s coming out stories on YouTube, I realised that things could be okay for me and that being open and proud about who I am was the only way for me to be happy. To shake the weight I’d felt on my shoulder since I was 13. 

I know that I have a tremendous amount of privilege, too. When I first came out at 17, I was terrified, but was fully embraced by my family which is all too uncommon. I am also a non-disabled, white man who was lucky enough to be going to university. I always aim to use this privilege to uplift other, less privileged voices. 

This is one of the reasons that I wanted to start this employee network group - to use this privilege for good. I wanted to create and  provide a safe space for people to come together and share experiences, celebrate and commemorate the queer calendar, push for positive change in the organisation and give a voice to those who may feel less able to get their opinion across. There is strength in unity, in numbers and in visibility; I want the group to represent this, and help Randstad push forward on its inclusion agenda. I want us to question and challenge decisions and provide our perspective as LGBTQ+ people to ensure our views are considered. I want us to be visible in the organisation so that new starters and long-serving employees alike know they have a place, and create that psychological safety which is so important. 

Pride@Randstad is a new employee network group, and we meet at least once per month to have a general chat, and to discuss upcoming plans. We are also a group that offers support to our members, and looking forward, we will start to run sessions on topics such as active allyship, and have safe space conversations for our members to share their experiences.  

I’m already excited about the difference we’re making. We commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by raising awareness of the day and asking colleagues across the business to make allyship pledges. We have exciting plans for celebrating Pride including a quiz, regular tea-break catch ups, internal communications and more. We also have a voice on the newly-formed People Forum and I intend for the group to input in preparation for these meetings to ensure I am representing their views accurately. 

Happy Pride!

By bringing out people’s inner qualities, we can give them the confidence to adapt, and help them determine their next, great work opportunity. throughout their working lives. At Randstad, we take pride in being an inclusive employer. If you want to pursue your passion - we want your skills on board! Find out more about our live roles by clicking the link below.

about the author
Matt Robinson
Matt Robinson

Matt Robinson

senior recruitment partner on the national tutoring programme at randstad uk