As LGBTI+ awareness week approaches in Cork, it is a wonderfully opportune time to celebrate and highlight the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
As with all other communities, the LGBTI+ community requires representation and equitable and fair treatment. We have to say goodbye to the days when people go to work fearing losing their jobs because of who they are or who they love.
Here are two statistics I’d like you to consider. More than 40% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and almost 90% of transgender people have experienced employment discrimination, harassment, or mistreatment. (glad.org). We can do better.
Supporting the LGBTI+ community in the workplace, in the same way as we support other communities, makes for an environment where every individual feels safe and comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work. This is a priority on its own and increases overall workplace harmony and productivity.
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and intersex people need to be made to feel completely at ease and comfortable when entering their work environment. Everyone sees and learns in various ways, so having a variety of perspectives is critical. Others will benefit from a safe and peaceful setting as well.
We think about it like this:
- Diversity is a fact
- Equity is a choice
- Inclusion is an action
- Belonging is an outcome
Companies that foster an environment in which employees feel free to express themselves openly and honestly have a distinct advantage over their competitors. Happier employees are proven to be more productive, represent your brand more positively, and engage better with internal and external stakeholders. In an inclusive environment, the whole team has enough faith in company leadership to express themselves openly. That trust catalyses performance.