An interview with Brendan Stephens at MOO

An interview with Brendan Stephens at MOO

MOO is an online print and design company, passionate about great design and the difference it can make to the world. Founded in 2006, MOO now has six locations across the UK and US and ships to over 190 countries. They’re also Kilburn & Strode’s preferred partner for business cards, which are made from 100% cotton trimmings from t-shirts (all tee, no tree!)

Creating a place that inspires diversity of thought, innovation and an inclusive sense of belonging is central to work at MOO. They want to be as wonderfully diverse as the communities in which they work and the customers that they serve.
 
There has been an informal LGBT+ employee network at MOO for many years. As part of a wider recent effort to focus on inclusion and diversity, they created an Inclusion and Diversity team towards the end of 2018 consisting of a number of groups (LGBT+, as well as a Women's network, Parents & Carers group, Cultural diversity and Accessibility & Wellbeing) intended to celebrate and engage with those communities (both inside and outside of MOO) to make themselves even better.

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Five questions with Brendan Stephens, Global Creative Director, MOO

1. What wisdom would you have told your younger self, if you had the chance? 

Worry less. Times are much different now than when I was a young lad, but I was too concerned with how I held myself, or how I looked (always too skinny in my mind!) or how others viewed and valued me. My older self cares about how I present myself and treat others, not so much about what others think (or how I may think they think!)

2. How can an organisation encourage gender equality, inclusion and diversity? 

By encouraging conversation, intrigue and awareness around these subjects. I would hope that if anyone I work with, directly or indirectly, felt marginalized or mistreated, they would come talk to me, their manager, or someone who could make a difference within our organization. At the same time, as leaders in our organizations, we MUST keep our eyes open and speak up when we feel something is not right. At MOO, our Inclusion and Diversity team work hard to encourage autonomy and empowerment for all employees to invite a speaker or visitor to come in and raise awareness around these subjects. In the last few months we've had speakers in London, UK and Providence, Rhode Island, USA (both of which were accessible to all of our office locations via Polycom.)

3. What do you do, in your organisation or outside, to inspire the next generation of LGBT+ talent? 

Personally, I try and take enough time to meet with our upcoming talent, LGBT+ or otherwise. We all need encouragement, more so when you are just starting out.

4. What are your top tips for LGBT+ people coming into the workplace now? 

Be sure to look for organizations that really believe in Inclusion and Diversity, not just for the LGBT+ community, but for all who work for them.

5. Pride is a balance between celebration and remembrance for the fight to get to where we are today. What does MOO do during Pride month? 

Well, we certainly love a parade (thanks, Barbra!) and a good party, but we also take our contributions to the greater good very seriously. 

We joined the Stonewall Global Diversity Champions Programme in January this year and will be taking part in the Stonewall Global Equality Index for the first time, to benchmark ourselves against other organisations and to learn from their best practice. We have also rolled out unconscious bias training to all hiring managers. MOO will be participating in Pride events in London and Rhode Island, offering a chance for LGBT+ community members and allies to celebrate diversity. We will also be running a week's worth of events in our Farringdon office in the lead up to London Pride, to engage with our employees. 

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