Companies to be asked to measure LGBT inclusion
COMPANIES are to be asked to measure how inclusive they are of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) is to publish a new 'workplace equality index' aiming at measuring how inclusive Irish employers are.
Companies which take part will have to answer questions including: "Does your company have out LGBT executive members of staff who act as visible role models?"
They will also be asked: "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 employ 25pc of the Irish workforce were represented at the index's launch.
Only those which 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 (inset) told the Irish Independent that the organisation was "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."