The Workplace: July/August 2021

The days of exclusion or the feeling that you cannot bring your true self into work really should be consigned to the pages of history. The creation of building working environments that are inclusive are new chapters to be written. A place where we celebrate individual differences and ensure that the contributions of everyone are recognised and valued.

The days of exclusion or the feeling that you cannot bring your true self into work really should be consigned to the pages of history. The creation of building working environments that are inclusive are new chapters to be written. A place where we celebrate individual differences and ensure that the contributions of everyone are recognised and valued.

There are a whole host of projects and initiatives that cover the equity, diversity & inclusion (EDI) agenda in the workplace. From ethnicity to gender and gender identity and from religion and disability, to sexual orientation – all making a difference and asking the question: Just how far must we still go?

June’s Pride month was a good example when we found ourselves exploring how the LGBTQ+ community fares in the workplace. Does full inclusion exist? Are we creating the environment where LGBTQ+ and trans employees do not feel isolated?

I wanted to share what we and others have been doing.

We have created our own internal community for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. Called Pride, it is chaired by one of our directors (Jake Freeman) and has a stated aim to ensure that Goodman Masson becomes a totally inclusive and comfortable environment, a workplace where all can be confident in being their true selves. To stand up to homophobia and transphobia, to engage and educate the wider business and as Jake says, “to party and celebrate Pride until the sun comes up”.

We have partnered with Trans in the City on their ‘Trans rights are human rights’ campaign; created new partnerships with the likes of interest.org; normalised and promoted the sharing of pronouns on email signatures and LinkedIn; and hosted an ally-ship seminar with D&I support organization Diversity Dreaming.

We launched our podcast series called ‘Real Lives’ with a discussion with Kathryn Downs about her transition journey (a married man with children, who transitioned to a woman, her story provides a real insight).

Accenture have more than 110,000 members of their global ally programme and through their own research they found out that LGBTQ employees are three times as likely to advance to a senior management position or higher.

The creation of building working environments that are inclusive are new chapters to be written”

Riot Games added rainbow fruit icons to allow players to show support for each other and are active participants in International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Elsewhere, ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s are a long-standing supporter of marriage equality, Newcastle City Council was named by Stonewall as the most LGBT inclusive employer in the UK, and IKEA has a real focus on transgender inclusion.

We’ve recently published our approach to ‘Transitioning at Work’ outlining the support available, such as telling friends and family, dressing differently and changing official documents.

You can read many examples of what companies are doing, yet Glassdoor’s recent survey showed more than half (53%) of LGBTQ employees reported that they have experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQ comments by co-workers.

Collectively, this should also be consigned to the pages of history.

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