Spotting one of these rainbow-coloured rides will brighten up your day!
Last month Zipcar ran an amazing competition inviting people to submit designs for a car that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. The winning design was selected by a panel of judges – Zipcar employees and members – who are all part of the LGBTQ+ community from an array of different backgrounds and genders. Now, the winning ‘Have Pride in Your Ride’ design from Jamie Shields can be spotted out and about on the streets of London! The gorgeous design adorns 10 Zipcar one-way Flex cars that you can book with just a tap of a finger through the app. The designs will be live from June onwards – so just grab their free app to hit the road for a one-way trip in style this summer!
Zipcar’s General Manager, James Taylor, a proud gay man himself, told us more about the ‘Have Pride in Your ride’ competition. He also revealed his favourite spot to celebrate Pride in London and shared an insight into how Zipcar continues to work to put equality, inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of everything that they do!
Why did you decide to do the Pride competition?
At Zipcar we’re on a mission to enable simple and responsible living. That means not only looking after the environment we operate in, but the people in our communities too.
We believe equality shouldn’t be up for debate and have long been a supporter of LGBTQ+ organisations. Typically, we show our support at events, but given the current situation we know these won’t be quite the same this year. The ‘Have Pride in Your Ride’ competition was our way of doing something to engage our community of members and celebrate our LGBTQ+ members, teams and allies.
What does it mean to you to see that visual support of Pride?
My fellow judges and I were blown away by the quality of entries and the thought that had gone into the responses. […] I’m personally thrilled with the winning design and the fact we get to display this proudly on 10 of our one-way Flex vehicles. Growing up at a time when the LGBTQ+ community was less visible, I could never have imagined a large company like Zipcar showing its support. It’s really important for me to do all I can in the role that I have to increase visibility of this and other under-represented communities our teams and members belong to. And if our Pride cars help do this in some small way then that’s great.
How has Zipcar created an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ employees?
We have a number of employee groups which celebrate diversity within the organisation, but which also focus on bringing more education and resources to the company, helping drive further change from within. As General Manager, it is my role to reinforce this message and continue to ensure that we have an environment where everyone believes that they belong.
Our community of members come from all walks of life and backgrounds and it’s important our workforce reflects that diversity as well. A diverse workforce also ensures we get different perspectives – we all bring something different to the role, which means we get better results. Being able to be your true, honest self in the workplace not only means you are happier in the workplace, but also allows you to perform better. That’s certainly something I’ve experienced throughout my career.
How important is it for you as a gay man to use your voice and position to support LGBTQ+ employees?
I’m very conscious of my position as a gay man in a senior position within Zipcar, and it’s very important for me to use that position to support other LGBTQ+ employees within the organisation. I hope that seeing me in a senior position and being comfortable to be out in the workplace encourages other people within the organisation to also be their true honest self, and to see that they can also succeed and progress.
But I’m equally conscious that I need to do this for all parts of the organisation that feel under-represented, and do all that I can within my position to create an even more inclusive and diverse organisation at every level.
What does Pride mean to you?
For me it’s a time to celebrate and connect with friends, something we’ve all been missing over the past year. Seeing the huge mix of people out having fun, watching the parade, waving a rainbow flag is fantastic, but it’s also a time to recognise the efforts and struggles of those who have gone before us to ensure greater equality and rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
There are still many places in the world where people don’t have the same rights simply because of who they love. Pride is vital in celebrating how far we have come but also in recognising what more still needs to be done.
Where would you go to celebrate Pride in London?
If you’re celebrating Pride in London then it has to be Soho. I usually meet up with some friends first and then head into town to watch the parade. We’d then make our way to one of the pubs in Soho – usually the Duke of Wellington. I love the fact that all the streets are closed off and if the sun’s out it’s a real party atmosphere.
Zipcar’s Pride-inspired Flex cars do make for a pretty swish ride, but they’re also an excellent sustainable alternative to owning your own car. You can easily book them for those one-way trips when you really need a car (think IKEA trips, moving days, heading out to catch up with friends, or for when you’ve just massively overpacked), but you don’t have the hassle or the carbon footprint of owning one. So, to recap, they’re sustainable, stylish, and supporting Pride…yep, we need a ride in one of these colourful cars now!