Every year since 2005, World Day Against LGBTphobia has been held on May 17. That it still exists in 2022 clearly shows that while undeniable progress has been made on equal rights for LGBTQI+ people people, discrimination, aggression and even persecution persist around the world. In France, they are punished by law, which does not prevent ordinary discrimination from continuing. And the world of work unfortunately remains a terrain that is too often conducive to it.
Much more needs to be done so that everyone, in all their uniqueness, can thrive at work and develop their creativity, energy and talent.
However, many companies work concretely and with sincerity to incorporate all diversity, by training their management committees and their managers, by developing their recruitment methods or by actively supporting initiatives and associations beyond a single month of pride. Supporting the LGBTQI+ community doesn’t mean changing your logo to rainbow flag colors once a year, it means implementing a real HR and financial and human resources strategy.
Become an “Employee Resource Group”
Now, it is up to new employees, young or more experienced, to act once they join the company, to instill the momentum necessary for the implementation of concrete and measurable actions in favor of equality. Previous generations took the lead in the early part of the fight, gaining rights that seem obvious today and setting up structures that allow fighting and making the voices of people with discrimination heard.
It is the turn of a younger generation, militant and more opposed to any form of inequality, to make its voice heard, to include inspiring role models, to narrate different origins.
In a growing number of companies, groups of employees form to defend a goal and act outside the HR circuit, and in a transversal way that allows everyone to participate regardless of his or her profession or hierarchical level. These are called “Employee Resource Groups” (ERG). They are a great opportunity to act in a very practical and concrete way and have an impact on all employees.
We can cite the example of the BNP Paribas Pride network, the first of its kind made in France in 2015 and now has 1,500 members. We also think of “Out @ L’Oréal”, “France TV for all”, “Pride @ BCG” (at Boston Consulting Group) or “Friends by Engie”. A panorama that is far from complete and extends to (almost) all sectors, from technology to banking and from consulting to consumer products. If it is not in your company? Create it! All it takes is often a few motivated people and a little time to speed up the ball and unite the energies.
43% of LGBTQI+ people are seen at work
Companies often enthusiastically welcome these employee initiatives, which of course does not deter them from implementing HR actions aimed at all employees.
Making all the differences visible is another challenge for the advancement of minds. It requires more people at all levels of companies. Recent studies point to the particular inability to see lesbian women in the workplace. The Boston Consulting Group’s Out@Work study, published in 2021, highlighted that only 43% of LGBTQI+ people are seen at work (down 9 points from 2018) and 38% of them are thought that being out of work was a disadvantage (+8 % compared to 2018). So it is up to the leaders, ERG and visible and allied people to show the path so that finally, everyone becomes 100% who they are at work.
Whether you are a new graduate, new to the job market, holding a managerial position, whether you are part of the LGBTQI+ community or an ally, you are worried! Answer these topics, make your voice heard, set up a group within your company, whether it’s a start-up or a large group, and act for greater equality. Achieve society as a whole!
stubborn connect, what is it?
The first think tank that brings together actors from the world of work to promote LGBTQI+ talents and promote their inclusion in all professional environments. The expertise of têtu · connect is disseminated through awareness raising workshops, events and business networking. The purpose of têtu connect: to help create a truly inclusive corporate culture.