Q&A: LGBT professional business networking with Radius

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Tuesday evening sees the latest event for Radius, the London based LGBT professional networking event, this time held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. PinkNews spoke to the founders to find out what the event is all about.

Unlike many networking groups aimed at LGBT people, Radius impressed PinkNews because it was genuinely about business networking, rather than an event just to find a boyfriend.

PN: Why create Radius?

“It is often mentioned that in business, who you know can be as important as what you know: deals may be done on the golf course, or jobs given to those in the ‘old boys’ network. We thought the LGBT community should also build connections to drive business. Why not establish a forum where the LGBT community could gather with straight allies to talk about business without feeling awkward about mentioning their private lives what they did at the weekend?”

PN: But surely there are already lots of places for LGBT people to network in London?

“Some other networks sell themselves as business-focused, but they can often feel like lifestyle-groups or thinly disguised dating forums. It was also clear to us that few opportunities existed to have the Blue Chip, public sector and SMEs meet together. Radius is our attempt to create a network to address each of these in one network; to offer our guests the chance to make useful, long-term connections but also to have interesting and stimulating conversations and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.”

PN: What do people get out of your events?

“Through our events, mentoring and additional development programmes, individuals and teams can gain confidence, develop skills and build on ideas. We value every one of our guests and endeavour to make personal introductions where we can. We encourage guests to bring along peers within their companies who may be interested to learn about the topics being discussed.”

PN: What has been your biggest success so far?

“In March 2013, our Blue Chip event attracted executives from more than 60 of the UK’s largest organisations to how to specifically measure the impact of diversity and inclusion for any organisation. We hosted a panel discussion featuring senior executives from Google, PWC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Transport for London (TFL).”

PN: What’s next?

“On Tuesday, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, representatives from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), KPMG, Stonewall and HSBC will discuss the support available for small and medium-sized enterprises to consider expanding overseas with a particular focus on LGBT diversity issues.”