This summer, on Parliament Hill and at Pride celebrations
across the country, Canadians raised the rainbow flag to
celebrate the LGBTQ community. While we should be
extremely proud of the progress we’ve made embracing
LGBTQ diversity and inclusiveness in Canada, we still have much
to do in this regard – and business leaders play an essential role.
In July, TELUS commissioned a study to examine how
Canadian businesses can better support LGBTQ diversity in the
workplace and create safer and more inclusive working environments.
The eye-opening study brought to light the challenges that
many LGBTQ Canadians continue to face in the workplace.
The study revealed that one-third of Canadians do not agree
that their workplace is safe and inclusive for LGBTQ employees,
while 45 per cent do not agree their workplace is safe and inclusive
for transgender employees. Additionally, 30 per cent of LGBTQ
respondents said they had experienced or witnessed homophobic
or transphobic discrimination or harassment at work, and nearly
half of these incidents went unreported to employers. Only 43 per
cent said their employer has clear policies and procedures in place
to address discriminatory or harassing actions against LGBTQ
employees – indicating an obvious area where Canadian businesses
need to do better.
Surprisingly, the study also found that 57 per cent of LGBTQ
Canadians are not fully “out” at work. Despite how far we think
we’ve come with regard to LGBTQ equality in our country, more
By Peter Green
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❚ 37