Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Celebrating Pride by championing diversity - VANCOUVER SUN

by Darren Entwistle
Originally published: July 30, 2016
Publisher: VancouverSun.com

It has been nearly a half-century since the North American LGBT civil rights movement emerged following the Stonewall riots. Those early days of protest have led to many notable achievements, particularly here in Canada. Indeed, last month Prime Minister Justin Trudeau historically raised the Pride flag on Parliament Hill for the first time and the B.C. government has just announced it will add “gender identity and expression” to our province’s Human Rights Code.

As we celebrate Pride in Vancouver this weekend, we have an opportunity to reflect upon the progress we have made in embracing sexual and gender diversity and inclusiveness in our own country, whilst acknowledging that we still have further progress to realize. This holds true in the workplace, where those of us who consider ourselves allies count it as our responsibility to elevate the level of equality, acceptance and diversity in our organizations.

Recently, Telus commissioned an external study of workplaces across Canada in the hopes of acquiring a better understanding of how all Canadian businesses can ensure a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone. Alarmingly, the study revealed that one-third of respondents confessed they do not believe their workplace is a safe and inclusive environment for gay, lesbian and bisexual employees, and for transgender employees that number jumps to nearly half.