ILGA-Europe at The Nordic LGBT Workplace Forum
One of the themes at The Nordic LGBT Workplace Forum, which took place in Stockholm in August, was how to combine a human rights based approach to diversity strategies. Representatives of a number of major Nordic companies, such as IKEA and SwedBank and international companies with Scandinavian subsidiaries such as Hewlett Packard, KPMG and Microsoft.
A number of surveys in the Scandinavian countries have demonstrated that even though the general approach to LGBT people are open and liberal, many people chose not to come out at their workplace. This leads to worse well-being and thereby loss of productivity
The forum presented real strategies and toolkits for Nordic employers to utilize the power of diversity in the workplace. As the Nordics has a developed LGBT acceptance, this market requires a different approach than many other countries in Europe and, therefore, presents its own challenges.
The second outcome was the further development of a cooperation within the Nordic countries to bring LGBT initiatives together and work towards the common goal of LGBT equality in Nordic workplaces.
- For ILGA-Europe employment remains an important issue. We are working closely with trade unions and the employers to ensure that equality for lgbt people can become a reality in the workplace, and we are available to work with companies, trade unions and to develop their policies and practices, and to link them to those who we know of have either gone through the same process, says Martin K.I. Christensen, co-chair of ILGA-Europe, who was one of the presenters at The Nordic LGBT Workplace Forum.
On the concrete level, ILGA-Europe has produced a document which points to practical steps that can be taken to help realise the promise of equality in the workplace as well as a fact sheet highlighting how employers can promote equality.