GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, has launched Ireland’s first Workplace Equality Index, which will serve as guidance on the best places to work in the country for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people.
“The Workplace Equality Index will push top-performing employers in Ireland to new heights,” said Davin Roche, director of workplace diversity at GLEN. “The Index will also provide a framework for employers tackling issues like harassment and homophobic bullying in the workplace.”
Research from GLEN highlighted that 30pc of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees had been harassed at work and that over 10pc had quit a job as a result of discrimination.
This research also identified the benefits of having happy, secure employees in the workplace as those who felt free to be open about their sexuality at work were found to be more committed to their employer and have a better working relationship with colleagues.
Sinéad Gibney, director of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, said that the Workplace Equality Index could serve as a critical way for employers to track their progress in tackling discrimination and creating an inclusive workplace on an annual basis.
‘Diversity is vital to success’
Becoming a member of the Workplace Equality Index is free and open to all employers via www.workplaceequalityindex.ie.
Among those already signed up are Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Dublin City University, as well as a number of companies from the STEM industries, such as Accenture Ireland, Microsoft, ESB, PayPal, and IBM.
“IBM wholeheartedly endorses the value of the Workplace Equality Index,” said IBM Ireland MD Peter O’Neill. “It allows participating organisations to get an independent assessment of their LGBT diversity policies and practices. It provides us with an incentive to improve and demonstrates that diversity is vital to our success.”
Support for diversity
Attending the launch at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin on Tuesday morning were representatives from companies which, together, employ over 500,000 people in the private, public, education and voluntary sectors.
Major tech companies with an Irish base – such as Twitter and Microsoft – have previously lended their support to a ‘Yes’ vote in Ireland’s upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage.
GLEN previously published a Diversity Champions Graduate Guide, which includes information for LGBT job-seekers on preparing for interviews, LGBT-inclusive companies and current developments for transgender employees.
The Workplace Equality Index will be published on 22 September.
LGBT workplace image by Boumen Japet via Shutterstock
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