How do we create an inclusive workplace environment for the LGBTI community worldwide?
As workplaces become more diverse, companies need to adapt their practices and policies to be more inclusive of the needs and advancement of LGBTI employees.
When applying for jobs, LGBTI people often conceal information about their sexual orientation or gender identity from their potential employer in order to avoid bias or discrimination. This is because one in four LGBTI employees report experiencing employment discrimination in the last five years and over one quarter of 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 is likely to occur anywhere in the world. However, it is more prevalent in countries where LGBTI discrimination is rampant. Data suggests that:
- 72 UN-member States protect against discrimination in employment.
- Seventy-two countries in the world still criminalise same-sex sexual acts, and more countries criminalise ‘homosexuality’ in other ways, subjecting individuals to dangers, abuses, harassment, and violations on the basis of their gender and sexuality.
The Sustainable Development Goals aim to close this gap, particularly Goal 10, which calls for reducing inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status within a country.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to support the Lead 2030 Challenge for SDG 10, Reduce Inequalities within and among countries, with a focus on the global LGBTI community. We partnered with Out and Equal (O&E), to develop a challenge in support of a global movement to better welcome and include the LGBTI community in the workplace.
The challenge welcomes solutions from young innovators that:
- Educate employers on the importance of an LGBTI-inclusive workplace
- Build the business case for LGBTI workplace inclusion
- Create an inclusive culture and environment for LGBTI employees
- Strengthen the manager-employee relationship for LGBTI employees
- Attract and retain LGBTI talent and increase career development
Possible solutions may include but are not limited to:
- Developing a SOGIE 101 and/or sensitisation training
- Creating a training program to help LGBTI people find more steady work
- Partnering with for-profit and/or non-governmental organisations to develop LGBTI anti-discrimination policies.
This aligns with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s commitment to providing a safe environment free from discrimination to all employees. This further cements our promise to follow UN’s Standards of Conduct for Business in support of the LGBTI Community, which we signed earlier this year. This speaks to our commitment to help move the dial in the direction of greater equality for LGBTI people around the world.
Furthermore, at Bristol-Myers Squibb, we engage our workforce through People & Business Resource Groups (PBRGs) as a transformative business strategy to attract, retain, develop, and reward our most valuable resource, our people, and to support our Company mission of helping patients to prevail over serious diseases.
Our partner, Out & Equal, is a 501c3 nonprofit that works with corporations, organisations and government agencies to ensure they provide inclusive and equal workplaces for LGBTI employees. As the workplace becomes increasingly global, barriers to LGBTI workplace equality widen due to differing cultural and legal environments. Out & Equal lends its expertise and experience to combat these challenges by offering several programs:
- The Global Fellowship Program is a six-week intensive Out & Equal immersion that empowers Fellows to become leaders for LGBTI equality in the workplace, while offering insights from Out & Equal’s experience in workplace advocacy and extensive network of global partners.
- International LGBTI Forums and Roundtables: Out & Equal hosts international events in China, India, and Brazil to provide participants with valuable education and best practices to begin or expand their inclusion efforts.
- Educational training and global webinar series: Through educational trainings, Out & Equal shares LGBTI cultural competencies, terminology, and best practices for creating workplaces that are diverse and inclusive.
- Global Partner Network: Out & Equal’s Global Partner Network is made up of LGBTI NGOs that provide local subject matter expertise in countries and regions around the world. Out & Equal partners with them to educate, convene, and further LGBTI workplace equality in local contexts around the world.
- Global Rapid Response Network: Out & Equal’s Global Rapid Response Network provides a conduit for rapid connection and engagement on issues of importance to the LGBTI community outside around the world. This network both connects like-minded corporations and provides opportunities for engagement on key issues.
The winning solution will receive
- A $50,000 grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb
- 12 months of mentorship from a team of Bristol-Myers Squibb employees and partners. The mentorship team will work to accelerate your solution by assisting with aspects such as:
- Business strategy
- Best practices for data collection
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Product design