A recent study prepared by the Human Rights Agency of the European Union, states that 19% of the LGBTI collective (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals) claims to have suffered some type of discrimination within the workplace due to their sexual condition. On the other hand, Eurobarometer data published by the Ministry of Health indicate that 31% of the population believes that these people start at a disadvantage when it comes to finding a job.
In its commitment to address the discrimination of this group at work, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the CEOE, Forética and REDI presented in Spain the "Principles of Conduct of the United Nations" that seek to help companies to examine their policies and practices, as well as establishing new strategies to respect and promote the human rights of LGBTI people. This includes eliminating unfair treatment in the workplace. From the Fundación Seres they argue that an environment that does not allow the employee to openly express their sexual orientation or gender identity for fear of discrimination or damage to the professional career will lead the employee to filter the information that they share with their colleagues and managers. This, in addition to representing an obvious inequality among employees, prevents the full realization of their creativity and talent. «The business world is immersed in the era of talent; The differential factor of companies is given by the team of professionals that compose them. The attraction, recruitment and retention of the best talent is and should be a strategic objective of any company that intends to be sustainable over time. Creating a business culture that is inclusive and diverse allows attracting a greater number of candidates. This translates, without doubt, into an opportunity for the organization, which will not only be more diverse but will work with more criteria of excellence and better results, "says Ana Sainz, general director of the Seres Foundation.
But does the Spanish business sector do enough to eradicate the discrimination of the LGTBI collective in the workplace? Gabriel Martín, "managing director" of Accenture, specialized in employee experience and vice president of REDI, explains that "88% of Spaniards would not discriminate against an LGTBI person, but only 38% of the employed population of this group dares to "come out of the closet" for fear of possible discrimination. With these data on the table, the first companies to take the step to include policies of this type are large multinationals guided many times by global programs. The next ones that are getting into the car are the big national companies and, little by little, they start to see movement in the small and medium ones ».
The personal involvement of the CEO is essential for current and future employees to feel that they can be themselves regardless of the gender of the person they love. «Inclusion and diversity is already a priority that is part of the agendas of senior executives. The market is clear that it is a fundamental component for the best competitiveness strategy. In the case of LGBTI diversity, this priority increases when the management recognizes that the internal corporate culture has remained in a position of "comfort" and has not been able to adapt to social changes. And that lack of adaptation begins to impact on its attractiveness in the market and in attracting talent. The CEOs can be supported in multiple programs to achieve that culture of confidence that encourages employees who wish to come out of the closet: groups of allies of the heterosexuals of the LGTBI employees, training programs focused on the elimination of unconscious discriminations and networks companies with which to share strategies », adds Martín. "A responsible leader is always a driving force to implement improvements, advance the company's excellence and, above all, facilitate the social connection of the company," adds Sainz. Betting on diversity as a differential element gives the company a clear competitive advantage, but it is convenient that this position is reflected in the values of the company. "The convenience of forming a diversity and inclusion committee that brings together the heads of different departments and employees belonging to the group is essential. In this way, a more real understanding of the company's internal needs regarding LGTBI diversity will be achieved, "they say from Seres.
In short, the change of culture in the organization is decisive so that this group does not feel discriminated against. "The power of diversity still needs to be unlocked with good practices, such as a non-diverse work environment and an inclusive culture," concludes Sainz.