herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

'A good day to be gay' as workplace equality champions are honoured

Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan

Miriam O’Callaghan has said that despite 2015 having been a “truly historic” year for gay people in Ireland, there is still much progress to be made in the workplace.

The RTE presenter was speaking at the Workplace Equality Index Awards hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) yesterday.

O’Callaghan referred to the ‘Yes’ result in the historic same-sex marriage referendum, but said there was still more that needed to be done.

“I didn’t realise so many people in workplaces still haven’t come out,” she said.

“So this is a work in progress. We think we’re there and it’s cool and everyone just walks in and is happy, and they’re not.

Significant

O’Callaghan said the awards “get other companies thinking about how they treat their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, so I think it’s very significant”.

Professional services firm EY received the Employer of the Year award after it ranked top for its performance in the Workplace Equality Index.

The runners-up were IBM, Accenture, Deutsche Bank and Microsoft.

“It’s pretty fair to say it’s a good day to be gay in Ireland, and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved in EY,” said Catherine Vaughan, the company’s global compliance leader, who was named LGBT Inclusion Champion of the Year.

“All of us know it’s not a necessarily easy thing to do and sometimes you find yourself coming out almost every day.

“In the environment we are working in, which is highly competitive, we are meeting new employees every day of our lives, and every day we choose to be ourselves.”

Speaking about Ireland’s most LGBT-friendly employers, GLEN’s programme officer for workplace diversity Eimear O’Reilly said: “It’s wonderful to see how many organisations participated in the Index.

“It’s all about LGBT people being valued for the skills and talents that they bring to an organisation, that they know they can come into an organisation on the first day and bring their whole self to work.”

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