Case Study - Employee Engagement

Informing, educating and supporting all employees to be aware of the issues affecting their lesbian, gay and bisexual colleagues is a vital step towards creating an inclusive workplace culture. Employee engagement can include providing LGB colleagues with the support to feel comfortable being ‘out’ at work, or using internal communication channels to raise all employees’ awareness of issues affecting LGB people. The business benefits include greater employee engagement, better service delivery to LGB consumers and service users and opportunities for brand enhancement in a competitive market.

Despite their relatively modest size, Creative Skillset – the lead skills and training organisation for the creative industries employing just over 100 staff – has transformed the landscape of the creative and media sectors by spearheading the establishment of
InterMedia: the LGBT staff network for people working across media.

Recognising the importance of peer support for LGBT employees, Creative Skillset began in 2005 by setting up its own small staff network POWWA, Part Of Who We Are. Considering they began with fewer than ten members and an annual budget of around £200, POWWA’s accomplishments are formidable. They have advised the organisation on strategy, held events and run activities looking at topics from bisexuality to civil partnership, and helped secure Creative Skillset’s continuing Top 100 employer status in Stonewall’s Index.

With time, POWWA and Creative Skillset recognised the opportunity to do more for their peers working across the industry. With support from Stonewall and guidance from staff networks in other sectors, InterMedia was born. Since the initiative was launched last year, membership has exponentially increased. Today, InterMedia boasts a community of over 450 individuals.

In the last year alone, InterMedia has held events attracting over 150 people, including discussions on topics such as women in media and LGBT audience habits, while providing a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues from across the sector to come together and network. They have also set up a working group that focuses on improving representation of LGBT people on screen, on air and online which is taking action to raise debate and seek change alongside Creative Skillset itself.