Organisations are increasingly thinking long and hard about how to create and sustain an inclusive workplace. Our Diversity Champions programme raises awareness and gives support to organisations in any sector, and of any size, on how they can change their workplace to be inclusive and accepting of all LGBT people. Read why the programme is needed and how you can get involved.
Having a diverse workplace where people feel free to be themselves leads to higher levels of motivation, creativity and productivity. This is something every employer should want for their staff. It’s good for employees, business, and customers.
Some of you reading this might think that since there’s been so much progress towards LGBT equality in recent years, being openly LGBT at work is a straightforward decision for people to make.
We wish that were true. But we know from our own research that more than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination, while one in five (18 per cent) have experienced discrimination when applying for jobs.
The situation is even worse for more marginalised members of our community.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees are at higher risk of abuse, and are three times more likely to lose their jobs compared to white LGBT staff.
Trans people also face significant challenges, with one in eight (12 per cent) having been physically attacked by a colleague or customer in the last year.
These are not just statistics.
They are the painful, real-life experiences of many LGBT people at work.
That’s why we at Stonewall created the Diversity Champions programme many years ago. We wanted to raise awareness and give support to organisations in any sector, and of any size, on how they can change their workplace to be inclusive and accepting of all LGBT people.
Changing and improving the experiences of LGBT people at work is at the heart of what we do with our 850 Diversity Champions.
Joining the Diversity Champions programme demonstrates that you’re a business committed to LGBT inclusion — and that’s a powerful signal to other businesses and to customers, employees and future employees.
These are organisations who understand that their workplace isn’t perfect, and that they might not always get it right. And we understand that creating an inclusive environment requires thoughtful, tailored action — it’s not a tick box exercise.
That’s why our work with employers is a collaborative process. We are there to provide resources, expertise and guidance — with tools like the Workplace Equality Index — to help employers learn and embed best practice.
Our team offers direct support on how to build a truly inclusive workplace, whether that’s through resources, webinars, case studies or connecting organisations with each other to chat about similar challenges.
If you want to learn about how to set up an effective LGBT staff network or check that your policies on discrimination or leave are LGBT inclusive, we can help you.
We can assist organisations in building LGBT inclusion into every part of an employees’ journey at an organisation, and we can share best practice when it comes to monitoring LGBT identities, meaning you can spot trends in recruitment, pay grade and staff satisfaction.
Through the Diversity Champions programme we also encourage organisations to think outside the workplace and get involved with their local LGBT community, whether that’s through supporting Prides, community groups or visibly celebrating LGBT awareness events.
We know that the more organisations stand up for equality, the sooner our workplaces and communities will become places that accept and support LGBT people — without exception.