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Love is love

Posted by
30 Jul 2015
Early last month, Bruce Jenner announced he was transitioning to become Caitlyn Jenner and received a wealth of support from not only those closest to him, but also from fans, other celebrities and global brands after appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair. More recently, the US Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage as legal in all 50 states, stating "love is love”. There were celebrations not just across America but globally too with companies such as Google, YouTube and Ben and Jerry's changing their logos to include the pride colours. These events were obviously seen as huge advancements for the LGBT community.

However, not everyone agreed with either of the above and so I did a little research in how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are treated in the workplace and how despite these advancements in equality, discrimination towards LGBT individuals continues.

In the UK we spend approximately more than 10.2 years at work - an extremely long time to be discriminated against or hide who you really are. A recent survey found that 48 % of LGBTs, under the age of 26, had attempted suicide - a shocking statistic compared to the overall suicide which stands at 6% rate for the number of under 26s who had attempted to commit suicide. A further 34% won't disclose their gender or sexuality at work in fear of facing discrimination or being treated differently to their peers.  

I recently read an article from the Guardian in which transgender individuals shared their stories of coming out, some of these have happy endings and others do not.

The article demonstrates how some companies have openly supported their employees and have embraced the LGBT community. Larger companies appear to outwardly show their support for the LBGT community. For example, thousands of Apple employees marched together in San Francisco's pride parade in July and Burger King trended on Twitter as it launched a Pride burger.
On the other hand, some companies were not so supportive of their employees. One example is that one employee was so terrified of coming out that she opted to become a freelancer rather than informing her manager of her transgender identity. Another story included how when disclosing her gender on an application form as other, she received no response when applying for roles that she was equally experienced for but then applied as a male and received an interview request straight away.

But do the companies who show discrimination towards LGBT individuals represent the company as a whole or just the hiring manager? And if the latter, shouldn't more be done to change attitudes in regards to LGBT in the workplace?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how equality in the workplace can be achieved. Please leave your comments below…
Tagged In: Events, Finance
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