As an employer, you can contribute to creating positive and affirming ways of respecting and promoting human rights in society. Creating a working environment in which every person is equal and has equal opportunities for success not only is ethically right and socially responsible, but also brings many benefits to employers. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace result in more innovation, increased productivity and better quality of products and services. Research has shown that companies that include different perspectives and experiences in their business decision-making processes achieve better results than those that do not embrace diversity. When employees have equal opportunities for work and promotion, they feel appreciated and more motivated, which increases their job satisfaction and productivity. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that people work better when they can be who they are. 

Working towards creating a working environment that is inclusive of all employees will bring multiple benefits to the employer, from increased employee productivity and better business results to increased overall material gain.

The results of the research show that there are great differences in the awareness and the experiences of employers and of LGBTI employees in relation to the research topics. One of the biggest differences is that many employers think that there are no LGBTI people among their staff and that this is not an issue they should address, yet the research results indicate that the majority of LGBTI people do not dare to be open in the workplace about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and that 75% of them experience workplace discrimination, which they do not report for fear of even more negative consequences.

And while employers in the western European countries, America and Australia have recognised the importance of ensuring equal working conditions and working environment for all of their employees and are investing time and money to ensure that there is inclusion in the workplace, in Croatia, this awareness has just started emerging. That is why LORI has actively continued its work in the areas of human rights protection and LGBTI workers’ rights protection by carrying out more recent projects such as Work Equality for All (2019. – 2021.), LGBTIQ Work Equality Alliance (2022. – 2023.), and by providing training on how to create a safe workplace to all interested employers.

Get involved in making positive changes:

Recommendations for employers Short and concise information on first steps that you, as an employer, can take in order to create a safe and accepting working environment for LGBTIQ+ people can be found here.

Workplace Equality Index One of the tools that can help you, as an employer, to gain an insight into what you have achieved regarding the implementation of LGBTI inclusive policies and practices in the workplace is the Workplace Equality Index. You can find out more about it here.

Remember that creating an inclusive workplace does not mean giving “special rights” to particular people or “promoting some groups over others”, but rather indicates creating equal conditions and working environment for all.

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