Diversity in the workplace

Eimear Noelle O’Reilly, Programme Officer for Diversity Champions at the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), looks at the significant progress made by employers to embrace diversity in the workplace.  


Companies in Ireland are embracing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

“Because of my employer’s positive attitude to diversity, being out as gay opened doors for me that might otherwise have remained closed.”[1]

Equality in the workplace is a critical priority for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Whether you are just starting your career or already working, being part of a company that is inclusive and allows you to be yourself at work means a much more positive workplace experience.

Over the last twenty years in Ireland there has been great progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people including in the workplace. Companies including Accenture, CRH, Dublin Bus, Deutsche Bank, Dublin City University, ESB, EY, IBM and the Irish Prison Service have joined Gay and Lesbian Equality Network’s, (GLEN) Employers Network Diversity Champions. These companies are working with GLEN to ensure their workplaces and businesses embrace LGBT diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the business whether it is recruitment, workplace culture or service delivery.

Today good employers in Ireland are not just saying they are inclusive they are demonstrating it to their employees. Good employers know that the best places to work are those that proactively embrace diversity.  Last year for the first time ever in Ireland, top private and public sector companies committed to LGBT workplace inclusion featured in the first ever national LGBT Graduate Careers Directory by GLEN.

A number of graduate employers who have embraced inclusion and diversity in the workplace will also be recognised at gradireland’s Graduate Recruitment Awards 2014. This years Diversity Recruitment Award will honour a single employer who has demonstrated excellent diversity recruitment practices, campaigns or initiatives. The shortlist of employers nominated for this award can be seen here at gradireland’s Graduate Recruitment Awards 2014 events page.

Knowing that the company you work for reflects and supports the diversity of its staff in its workplace culture, policies and business objectives means that you can give your best to your job.

“Now it is not the same tension on a Monday morning wondering how to navigate those questions about what I did at the weekend.”[2]

All employees benefit from an inclusive environment. Employers who embrace LGBT diversity send a message to all staff that they value their people for who they are and what they can bring to the table. And remember if an employer is committed to an inclusive workplace for LGBT employees, they usually see the value in other types of diversity and are generally more inclusive.

Diversity Champions is GLEN’s network for employers committed to creating inclusive workplaces and businesses for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

You can learn more about LGBT inclusive workplaces at: www.diversitychampions.ie

For more information on equal opportunities in the workplace, please visit http://gradireland.com/careers-advice/equal-opportunities

Eimear O’Reilly, Programme Officer Diversity Champions, GLEN

[1]Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) Diversity Champions 2014 Thought Leadership Research –Working It Out by Brian McIntyre and Elizabeth Nixon

[2]Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) Diversity Champions 2014 Thought Leadership Research –Working It Out by Brian McIntyre and Elizabeth Nixon

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