Business Irish

Thursday 19 October 2017

Gay rights group to publish ‘workplace equality index’ which will measure how inclusive Irish employers are

The index is open to every employer in the State - both public and private sector.
The index is open to every employer in the State - both public and private sector.
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) will publish a new ‘workplace equality index’ aiming to measure how inclusive Irish employers are of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff in September.

Companies who take part will have to answer questions including: ‘Does your company have out LGBT executive members of staff who act as visible role models?’, ‘In the past year has your organisation engaged with the wider LGBT community either locally or nationally?’ and ‘Does your organisation ensure that its suppliers and contractors comply with your policies against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation?’.

They will also have to provide supporting evidence for their answers.

Companies that cumulatively employ a quarter of the Irish workforce were represented at the index’s launch this morning.

Only those who apply to take part in the exercise will be benchmarked, so the index may not accurately reflect the state of LGBT inclusion in the Irish workplace as a whole.

But Glen’s director of workplace diversity Davin Roche told the Irish Independent that the organisation is “strongly encouraging employers to participate in the benchmark, irrespective of how mature their LGBT diversity and inclusion is”.

The index is open to every employer in the State - both public and private sector.

Mr Roche said it was important that companies take proactive steps to encourage LGBT inclusion, rather than merely avoiding discrimination.

“There are many companies who fall into that category where there is little or no visibility of LGBT staff.

“This sends a negative message to either current LGBT employees or potential LGBT employees that there isn’t a culture that is inclusive.”

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