June is Pride Month and Global Pride Day is on 27th June 2021 – a reminder and a commemoration that on 28th June 1969 a gay club in New York was raided by police. But as we are a global company based in Britain, I would like to talk to you about U.K. history.
A British man died on the 7th June 1954. Quite a man. Alan Mathison Turing – who led Hut 8 at Bletchley Park. Turing’s work is estimated to have shortened World War 2 by more than two years and saved over 14 million lives. One of those 14 Million lives was the grandfather of our very own Head of Brand, who would have been executed by the SS on the 9th of May 1945, but – with the Nazi forces surrendering to the Allies on the 8th his life was spared.
And in return this country treated Alan in an horrific and stomach-churning way, because he was gay. The U.K. has since tried hard to make up for what it did: the Prime Minister made an official public apology; the Queen granted Turing a posthumous pardon and his face is due to appear on the £50 note which will be released this month on the 23rd June – Turing’s birthday. And although none of this helps him, it is a sign that things are changing for the better.
So Pride is a celebration and a reminder to remember the struggles of the past, not to take what we have now for granted. For me, Pride month is about remembering the past but also speaking out – as loudly as possible. For the kids in this country who are scared to be themselves at home, for the adults in this country who are scared to be themselves at work.
So I say it again – you shouldn’t have to be brave to be gay. Not in this country. Not at this company.
I am proud to be CEO of Centurion, I am proud of my gay sister and I am proud of all the people who work for, and contribute towards, Centurion. People’s sexuality, gender, religion and race are irrelevant to me and to Centurion.
We do not see labels, we see people.
Because it is people that we protect, people that work in challenging, hostile and sometimes very dangerous environments. So we will continue to design and manufacture safety equipment to help keep them safe. We salute their bravery and will keep innovating for them.
Nick Hurt (CEO)