This weekend, the Sydney Mardi Gras festival will culminate with the Mardi Gras parade down Oxford Street.
From what began as a protest against police brutality, Mardi Gras has grown to include about 10,000 participants. It’s one of the largest pride parades in the world, and a chance for LGBTIQ+ people and their families and friends to celebrate who they are.
But in all the glitter, sometimes we can forget that LGBTIQ+ people still face significant barriers, including at work.
And despite Australia having some of the most progressive anti-discrimination laws for LGBTIQ+ people in the world, researchers have suggested that as many as one in two LGBTIQ+ staff don’t come out at work in Australia. And one in five are considering leaving.
All this hiding who you are is taking a toll. Not coming out can disrupt the concealer’s basic skills and abilities, and is costing business in lost productivity.
Not to mention, the costs for businesses who ignore the diversity of their customers, which has been highlighted in a new report from Deloitte and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Taken together, discrimination could literally be costing billions to global GDP each year.
So what can employers do?
- Use inclusive language to make your LGBTIQ+ staff feel safe and included at work. Check out DCA’s #WordsAtWork guide for tips.
- Learn more about how inclusive leaders can make everyone feel valued. Check out DCA’s Building Inclusion: An evidence Based Model of Inclusive Leadership.
- Sign up to the campaign to support Marriage Equality. DCA is a proud supporter of Australian Marriage Equality’s campaign and research out this week has shown legalising marriage equality could lead to lower suicide rates in LGBTIQ+ young people. You can join hundreds of other employers on this register of support.
- Start a pride group at your work. Pride in Diversity has a useful guide to establishing and maintaining an LGBTIQ+ network.
- Come along to DCA’s next Diversity Leadership Program on LGBTIQ+ inclusion on 4 April. Invitations are due to go out shortly but you can register early.
Showing your support for diversity benefits all your employees.
Happy Mardi Gras!