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Diversity Beyond Gender: LGBT

Article published by BCCJ Acumen, January 2014
Available in English

By Suzanne Price

As part of its “Diversity Beyond Gender” series, the BCCJ hosted a panel discussion on 26 November concerning the inclusion of people who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).

Given that so many clients tell me they “are not ready for LGBT inclusion”, I figured it was time to showcase why this matters, as well as the potential opportunities and best practices that involve these individuals in the workplace.

Up until a few years ago, the vast majority of firms in Japan, including British ones, kept their LGBT initiatives in the closet. Nowadays companies that are truly committed to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are increasingly making visible, internally and externally, their efforts to acknowledge and engage people who may be LGBT.

Four panellists who are knowledgeable on the subject participated in the discussion at the BCCJ event, while I served as the moderator. Panellist Ian de Stains OBE, executive director of TELL, explained how people who may have a same-gender partner often feel the need to be guarded about their personal lives. These people may feel excluded by policies that others take for granted.

“Imagine needing to take a personal holiday when your partner’s parents pass away for example”, de Stains said.