Just say “gay”

Idealog - - FORWARD -

“Com­pa­nies have to start us­ing the words ‘gay, les­bian, trans­gen­der, bi­sex­ual’ out loud,” says Michael Stevens, founder of New Zealand busi­ness di­ver­sity cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body Rain­bow Tick. “Not some­thing vague about di­ver­sity. Those words.”

Stevens was speak­ing at a work­shop to cel­e­brate 15 Kiwi or­gan­i­sa­tions ac­cred­ited by Rain­bow Tick, or go­ing through the process.

Rain­bow em­ploy­ees make up 10% of the Kiwi work­force, Stevens says, “but carry scars of shame we’ve grown up with, of not be­ing wor­thy. Vis­i­bil­ity coun­ters th­ese dif­fi­cul­ties. So say the words out loud in your or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

Rain­bow Tick (and groups like it around the world) ar­gue com­pa­nies with a di­verse and in­clu­sive work­place are in a bet­ter po­si­tion to at­tract high qual­ity ap­pli­cants, re­tain staff, and boost pro­duc­tiv­ity.

They may also have a mar­ket ad­van­tage, if in­house at­ti­tudes bring LGBT cus­tomers. Fig­ures from the lat­est cen­sus (2013) sug­gest same-sex cou­ples are sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter off than their het­ero­sex­ual coun­ter­parts – though from a smaller base. Statis­tics NZ data shows al­most 70% of same-sex cou­ples earn over $70,000 a year, with 20% earn­ing over $150,000. That com­pares with just over 50% of op­po­site sex cou­ples earn­ing over $70,000 and only 14% earn­ing over $150,000. More­over, fewer than 10% of same-sex cou­ples have chil­dren – giv­ing them greater dis­cre­tionary spend­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.