The Challenge: How do we create an inclusive workplace environment for the LGBTI community worldwide?
When applying for jobs, LGBTQ people often conceal information about their sexual orientation or gender identity from employers in order to avoid bias or discrimination. This is because one in four LGBTQ employees report experiencing employment discrimination in the last five years. Additionally, over one in four transgender people who held or applied for a job in the last year reported being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion due to their gender identity.
This can occur anywhere in the world. However, it is most prevalent in countries where LGBTQ discrimination is rampant. Data suggests that:
- 72 UN member States protect against discrimination in employment.
- 72 nations still criminalise same-sex sexual acts, and more countries criminalise ‘homosexuality’ in other ways, subjecting individuals to intimidation, abuses, harassment, and violations on the basis of their gender and sexuality.
The Lead2030 Challenge for SDG10, supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb, launched a global search for young leaders working to reduce inequalities within and among countries, with a focus on the global LGBTQ community. The Challenge was developed in partnership with Out and Equal (O&E) in support of a global movement to better welcome and include the LGBTQ community in the workplace.
Donnya Piggott, Pink Coconuts
Pink Coconuts connects LGBTQ travellers with a tribe of LGBTQ-friendly accommodation and tours across the Caribbean while empowering the local LGBTQ community.
Pink Coconuts, originally a project of B-GLAD (Barbados - Gays, Lesbians and All-sexuals against Discrimination), is rooted in values of inclusion and diversity. Now a stand-alone social enterprise, Pink Coconuts actively seeks to share these values with partners and build a friendly Caribbean environment for both the local and international LGBTQ communities.
Through stakeholder meetings with Virgin Holidays and 14 major hoteliers (totalling 1200 rooms) to discuss inclusive tourism through the Caribbean and equal opportunity employment policies, Pink Coconuts has partnered with Marriott to provide safe and accessible space for the projects development.
This year, Pink Coconuts launched the ‘Pink Coconuts Pride Tour’, a tourism initiative catered to the LBGTQ community. The project has supported five local LGBTQ entrepreneurs and five additional local women.
Pink Coconuts and B-GLAD, in collaboration with the Women and Development Unit of the University of the West Indies Open Campus, spearheaded “The One Barbados Initiative” which brought together 13 NGOs representing marginalised groups to develop a policy note on inclusion, diversity and anti-discrimination within the Barbadian workplace.
This Policy Note will be presented to the Ministry of People Empowerment, making actionable recommendations for employment and training opportunities for LGBTQ people, women, persons with disabilities, and religious minorities.
“I'm incredibly grateful for One Young World and Bristol Myers-Squibb for seeing the potential in this idea. I have working on refining this for almost two years and there is still quite a way to go. This is a vote of confidence and I will stop at nothing to ensure that we reduce the gross inequality among LGBTQ people at work, home and leisure.”