You may have noticed the world looking more colourful lately with beautiful, bright rainbows splashed across our buildings and cities in celebration of Mardi Gras, which began on Friday 18 February and continues through to Sunday 6 March. 
 
From what began as a protest against police brutality, the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has grown to become one of the largest pride parades in the world, and is a chance for LGBTQ people, their families and friends to celebrate who they are. Alongside this focus on celebration, Mardi Gras continues to maintain its strong commitment to social justice for LGBTQ communities. 
 
After another year of challenging times as the global pandemic continued, this year’s Mardi Gras theme is UNITED WE SHINE - signifying that LGBTQ communities shine brighter together. By standing up against hate and inequality as a collective, the message of love and inclusion is heard louder.
 
Investa is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all employees feel welcome, respected and valued – and where everybody feels safe to be their true, authentic self at work. We stand as proud allies for our LGBTQ staff and we are determined to ensure our culture remains one where ALL of our people feel safe at work, and that they belong, and be themselves without judgement – and that this means they can do their very best work.
 
What is Investa doing this year?
 
• Sydney - Mardi Gras Celebration: There will be a celebration held at our head office for staff on Friday 4 March over a drink and bite to eat! We are delighted that Archie Rose will be coming along to shake up some Mardi Gras themed cocktails.
 
 • Celebrating in our buildings: As a show of support for our LGBTQ employees, and the broader Community, we have ‘rainbow-ified’ our Sydney buildings, which look amazing. Well done to our fabulous Customer Experience team who have led this wonderful initiative!
 
• Donate to Rainbow Families: Rainbow Families provide support and resources to members of the LGBTQ community so that they and their families can live their best and most colourful lives. They host events that connect LGBTQ families, particularly those that are feeling isolated because of social pressures, financial difficulty or where they live, advocate on behalf of the community and are a strong and consistent voice for NSW LGBTQ families to address discrimination, raise awareness and promote acceptance. You can donate here. 
 
• Ask R U OK?: This Mardi Gras, R U OK? are encouraging everyone to rise up and ask R U OK? of their LGBTQ friends and colleagues in a safe and supportive way. To help you know when and how to start a conversation, they have released resources, including a conversation guide. Download resources from their website.
 
 Pride@Investa 
 
 We would like to say a big shout out to our LGBTQ employee network, Pride@Investa, for all the amazing work that they are doing.