Pioneering research by Stonewall has made a categorical link between gay people being themselves at work and their performance.
100 in-depth interviews were conducted from staff at 21 public and private sector organisations. Almost universally participants reported a positive link between workplace climate and their productivity.
However most participants in the study firmly declined to identify their own workplace in the report.
Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall said: “This is stark evidence that lesbian and gay staff still don’t feel comfortable enough in their working environment.”
How to set up an LGBT Network in your company Top Ten Tips:
1.Research other LGB employee networks to find out what has worked for them
2.Establish the business case for a network in your organisation. This should include benefits to the business and not just to LGB employees
3.Find a senior management sponsor who can argue your case across the organisation. Get the HR team on board as well
4.Set out the aims of the network. These could include advising on diversity policy and practice, or helping LGB staff develop their careers
5.Draw up a business plan that sets out the purpose of the group, its proposed activities and funding requirements.
6.Ensure that network coordinators have the time to make it work. Many employers give coordinators time off each month for network business.
7.Establish criteria for network membership, setting out whether the network is exclusive to LGB staff or open to all staff with an interest in LGB issues
8.Publicise the group internally through email and the company intranet, and externally, through pink and mainstream press.
9.Respect the privacy of network members and non-members who are not out at work consider using internet email accounts or an external website.
10.Consult regularly all network stakeholders, members and managers to ensure it stays relevant to the business and to LGB staff.
Taken from ‘Network Groups’ - Setting up networks for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees (Stonewall Guides)
For companies and workers who want to find out how to make the working environment a fair and fruitful place for its employees Stonewall have launched a series of Work Place guides to help employers put in proper measures to secure a safe and positive environment for all its LGBT staff.
Bisexual People in the Work Place – Practical advice for employers
Career Development – How to support your lesbian and gay employees
Bullying – Preventing the bullying and harassment of gay employees
Monitoring – How to monitor sexual orientation in the workplace
Network Groups – Setting up networks for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees
Religion and Sexual Orientation – How to manage relations in the work place
Gay People, your Business – What small employers need to know
Sexual Orientation – Employer Handbook
What’s it got to do with you? - Ten reasons why you should fill in those funny box things at the end of forms
The double –glazed glass ceiling- Lesbians in the workplace
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