Race Equality Matters is pleased to announce that Heathrow have been awarded #MyNameIs solution Trailblazer status!


Race Equality Matters’ #MyNameIs is a simple but highly impactful solution to ensure everyone pronounces people’s names correctly. The campaign calls to normalise phonetic spelling in your email signature, meetings, name badges and more. In a 2022 poll, 73% of respondents from more than 100 organisations said they had their names mispronounced. They told us it made them feel ‘not valued or important,’ ‘disrespected’ and ‘that they didn’t belong.’ 88% of respondents thought a phonetic name spelling campaign would help tackle race inequality.


Panellists felt Gipsil’s adoption of #MyNameis was an inventive exploration of the solution and panellists praised the poster they created which included the instructions that assisted colleagues in understanding how to implement the solution. Panellists felt Gipsil demonstrated a multipronged approach to initiate the change in how to spell names phonetically. They used Black History Month as a natural opportunity to discuss the significance of this. 100% of panellists felt Gipsil had successfully implemented #MyNameIs with 100% voting for them to receive the status.




Gipsil shared the importance of #MyNameIs and highlighted why pronouncing a name correctly held such significance for them. They communicated the importance of accurately addressing someone by their name, recognising it as the initial point of connection between their colleagues. They emphasised that there are layers of identity and personal history for many and it was important for this to be recognised. Moreover, they recognised that when a name is pronounced incorrectly it can cause upset and distress and create an emotional strain that arises when repeated mispronunciations persist without correction and it can also become harder to correct those mispronouncing.


Gipsil involved the Senior Leadership team and secured support and then launched the campaign. Ensuring leadership visibility and combining this with comms such as posters (using the REM network materials). They encouraged discussion in team meetings and for colleagues to practise their name spellings on each other as well as using REM guide. Their Staff are using their phonetic spellings on their email signatures and name badges. Phonetic spellings are also included as part of their application forms and onboarding process and included as an option on referral forms for the different Consortium services that Gipsil manage.


While the phonetic spellings aren’t obligatory Gipsil have worked to educate individuals on what phonetic spellings are and how to create them correctly by sharing examples.




Panellists felt that Gipsil displayed a Clear and straight forward rationale. Gipsil shared that the #MyNameIs solution has supported quite a ‘radical change in culture’ and by having senior leadership visibility and participation they have embedded the concept of good/best practise in terms of taking E,D&I seriously where colleagues now understand that it needs to be central to everything that they do. Even further it has led the way for Safe Space/Tea Break conversations that were then launched during Black History month and which have become an important part of the cultural evolution at Gipsil.


Judging panellists were impressed by the way the application demonstrated an ability to make #MyNameIs their own. Through adapting the solution and creating their own posters to address the barriers they faced, they increased its accessibility for people within their organisation and showed a proactiveness to make the solution work for their colleagues.


Panellists said that it was ‘great’ to see how the organisation engaged the senior leadership team and panellists were impressed by the passion that existed within the application as the solution facilitated further work in EDI and cemented it into the fabric of everything that they do they also highlighted the importance of the historical context and acknowledging the way people actually felt about themselves once they had their name pronounced correctly.


Gipsil demonstrated a real drive towards creating change through advocating inclusivity for all in the form of first addressing an individual correctly and creating further opportunities to open a dialogue around this. Panellists felt Gipsil ensured impact was felt by all colleagues, by focusing on creating an environment of belonging. One judge commented that their application demonstrates ‘positive progress’ and applauded the fact that the organisation implemented additional REM solutions such as Tea Break. Panellists felt the application showed how far implementing one solution such as #MyNameIs can lead to more opportunities to work towards racial equality and driving meaningful change.



Follow Gipsil’s Lead: Become a Trailblazer


If your organisation is driving change for race equality and you can demonstrate impact, endorsement from ethnic background employees and share future plans; register your interest for the next round of Trailblazers on our website.


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