Online toolkit helps employers create open workplace for LGBT employees

27 Jun 2012

Amid celebrations for Dublin’s LGBT Pride Festival, Ernst and Young will launch Excellence in Diversity, an online toolkit for employers from the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) that will help Irish companies take pride in their LGBT employees.

Research has shown that 60pc of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees are not open about their sexual orientation in their workplaces and many feel that coming out at work could damage their careers, promotion prospects or professional relationships.

This evening in the Wood Quay Venue in Dublin, Jim Ryan, people partner at Ernst and Young, will officially launch the website for Excellence in Diversity, which helps employers realise the benefits of LGBT diversity in the workplace and demonstrates how to create a welcoming environment for individuals.

“As an employer, we need to be able to ensure that there are no barriers to recruiting the best people and to allowing our people to perform to the best of their abilities, irrespective of how diverse they are. We fully endorse the concept of inclusiveness,” said Ryan.

The value of diversity for businesses

Excellence in Diversity, which was funded by the European Social Fund and the Equality Authority, provides employers with an easy way to assess their workplace, identify any barriers to diversity and get suggestions on how to overcome them.

“More and more companies in Ireland are recognising the real value to their businesses of diversity amongst their staff,” said Davin Roche, director of workplace diversity at GLEN. “It’s simple: people perform best when they can be themselves. LGBT employees who can be ‘out’ in safe and respectful work environments do better.”

Roche notes that employers have identified a number of key business reasons to invest in LGBT staff and customers, including staff performance, retention and recruitment, as well as fostering a good company reputation.

Pride flag image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com. She joined in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs news. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly persnickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen. When she hasn’t got her nose stuck in her laptop, you’ll find her in the kitchen, at the cinema, or on the dancefloor.

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