Discrimination is never welcome in the workplace – and, as conversations surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the World Cup in Qatar swell both nationally and internationally, diversity and inclusion consultancy, INvolve, released its annual Outstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists.
The Outstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists showcase global LGBT+ business leaders and allies who are breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive workplaces across the world. They aim to represent the wide range of impactful and innovative work being done for inclusion across different countries, organisations and sectors, and celebrate the diverse range of inspiring individuals who have made it their personal mission to make a difference.
Diffusion was tasked to help take this year’s Outstanding LGBT+ Role Model lists public, developing a strategic media outreach campaign which used research as a hook to attract maximum media attention and increase awareness of the lists.
For this campaign, Diffusion worked with INvolve to commission research which investigated experiences of LGBT+ employees at work – further cementing the need to fully support and showcase diverse talent that may otherwise be side lined because of their LGBT+ identity.
The research uncovered that LGBT+ employees are being prevented from reaching senior management roles – with two-thirds feeling as though they had to tone down their identity to progress to senior positions and one in five actively prevented from interacting with clients because of their sexuality. The data gathered helped to emphasise the pressing need for businesses in the UK to work with diversity and inclusion consultancies, such as INvolve, to support and improve the experiences of any LGBTQ+ employees they may have.
Through emphasising the need for initiatives that showcase diverse talent using data from the research, Diffusion secured top tier media opportunities announcing the release of the annual Outstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists. Coverage usually led with the research findings highlighting the barriers LGBTQ+ employees are facing at work, going on to explain how INvolve are keen to spotlight workers from the LGBTQ+ community through initiatives such as highlighting LGBT+ role models and celebrating the positive impacts they have on businesses at a time when they are experiencing hostility across the world.
Diffusion secured a standalone piece in The Metro which included key findings from the research, including that 42% of respondents believe a lack of LGBT+ role models in their industry halts progression, with a third believe senior management are more likely to promote non-LGBTQ+ employees who have more in common with them. Coverage on the Lists was also secured in the likes of Personnel Today, HR Magazine, DiversityQ and FE News.
Overall, the media strategy behind the release helped reinforce the wider goals of the partnership between Diffusion and INvolve, whilst specifically raising awareness of the lists and encouraging businesses to highlight LGBT+ employees within their organisation that are driving real change for LGBT+ communities.