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This weekend Manchester plays host to its legendary Pride Weekend and here at 438 we’ve been getting into the local Pride spirit and thinking about how we, as an agency, can encourage our wonderful team to bring their whole selves to work. Too often in the working world employees feel they have to leave their personal lives at the door and that’s something we’re keen to ensure doesn’t happen at 438.

Below, Account Planner, Christie Rolley tells us more.

Being ‘out’ at work is really natural to me, although I’m aware that’s a privilege that not every member of the LGBT+ community enjoys. For many workers being out about who they are at work is not only uncomfortable, but potentially detrimental to their careers and, in some cases, even dangerous.

As a cis lesbian who presents in a feminine way, I can choose who to reveal my sexuality to when I begin a new job and, working in the creative industries, I have always felt supported and accepted by colleagues in doing so. I feel incredibly lucky that I have never experienced the anxiety of worrying about my personal life being discovered or having to censor my answers when someone asks how my weekend was.

This is no different at 438 where I felt comfortable being open about my sexuality from day 1. It’s hard to sum up how good it feels when new colleagues don’t blink when you mention a female partner, but it’s really apparent that being able to be your whole self at work makes for a happier team and a more positive work environment.

And this doesn’t just apply to sexuality. Chatting to the team at 438 I’ve learned that this really is an agency where any aspect of your personal life is not only welcome but supported and celebrated. Whether it’s proudly telling colleagues at the morning meeting that your son has excelled in his sports day cross country race or chatting about your dog having destroyed the sofa over a brew, this is a friendly agency with a friendly team who care about each other. And, as well as celebrating the good, this is an agency that will rally in the tougher times.

Account Manager Steph Shaw told me that in the aftermath of a fire that devastated her brother’s home, the team donated clothes, toys and other items to help the family replace lost belongings. She said ‘I was overwhelmed at the support that I received from everyone at 438. They were so understanding about me managing my time around being there for my family at home and needing emotional support in work’

There are engagement lunches, birthday cheese boards, post- first date debriefs over coffee, morning moans about sleepless nights with toddlers, holiday recommendations, clothing swaps and social occasions; a never ending stream of ways myself and my colleagues are 100% ourselves every day when we come to work. My time at 438 so far has really proven that this is a company that wants its team to be their full unedited selves which not only enriches our relationships with one another but also the that work we do. From a new mum Account Manager running an early years campaign, to a festival loving designer working on a creative pitch for an exciting new music project, our outside interests can add real value to our work lives too. And so, in celebration of that fact, we asked each of our team to contribute a photo that represents their whole selves, bringing their out of work lives through the door. We hope you enjoy our photo montage of our 360 selves!