Some of the world’s biggest companies have gathered in Dublin to give their commitment to the recruitment of Irish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) graduates.
Finance giants MetLife and Deutsche Bank were joined by Vodafone, LinkedIn, PayPal, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and others in the RDS at the gradireland event yesterday for the launch of the new LGBT recruitment drive.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network’s (GLEN) Diversity Champions programme aims to connect the nations young graduates with LGBT-friendly companies.
Speaking at the event, GLEN’s director of workplace diversity, Davin Roche, said the programme was incredibly important for those who want to know that their sexuality will be “fully respected”.
“Most young jobseekers, including LGBT jobseekers, want to join companies that clearly demonstrate that they are progressive and inclusive,” he said.
“LGBT employees in particular want to know that the companies they join will be workplaces where they can be themselves, where they can thrive and succeed, and where their sexual orientation or gender identity will be fully respected and welcomed as part of a diverse organisation.
“Young people joining companies are more likely to conceal their sexual orientation than those who have been there for many years, which emphasises the need for companies to demonstrate that they are inclusive,” he added.
Senior Operations Manager with US giant MetLife Michael Quinn said the programme was vital for “encouraging employees to be themselves at work”.
“It’s been refreshing to experience the level of support and encouragement offered to LGBT employees here at MetLife,” he said.
“Launching our LGBT employee group in Dublin has been an important milestone, encouraging all employees to bring their whole selves to work.”
The news comes after the Department of Education revealed new rules are on the way to help transgender pupils in areas such as uniforms and the use of changing rooms.
The position of children in single-sex schools who undergo a gender change – as they now may do from the age of 16 – was also a key talking point in discussions week this week.
As reported in the Irish Independent, a number of schools are already struggling with how to handle the issue, which has come into sharper focus following the passage of recent gender recognition legislation.
There are no official figures for the percentage of the Irish population that is transgender, but internationally it is 1pc.