We had an excellent panel discussion for our staff chaired by Clodagh Leonard, Chairperson of PRIDE, on the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace and what we can do to encourage inclusiveness in our workplace. The panel included Sarah Phillips, Chairperson of TENI; Oisin O’Reilly, Head of Operations and Fundraising with BeLongTo; Vivienne Kavanagh, Employee Development and Equality Executive with Dublin Bus; and Aaron O’Sullivan, a member of the Steering Committee for the LGBT+ Staff Network in the civil service.
This was an important event for us as we get conversations going in relation to raising awareness, understanding and appreciating issues and perspectives on issues of relevance for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or who identify themselves in another way. There were some fabulous insights provided by the panel on the importance of diversity and of creating cultures and welcoming environments that facilitate people feeling that they can be themselves, and that people feel they have a choice, as to whether they want to be ‘in’ or ‘out’ in the workplace.
As the key centralised public service recruiter and primary gateway to careers in many parts of the public sector, we recognise that we have an important contribution to make towards achieving a Civil and Public Service that is reflective of the people and society we serve. We are committed to devising Diversity and Inclusion related strategies to implement systems, policies and processes that will ensure we attract and engage really great talent to the wide range of really great roles and great workplaces across the public service. It’s really important that we act positively on this now as Vivienne Kavanagh from Dublin Bus put it, the challenge will be if we want to attract great people to the great roles in the public service, we need to appreciate that people will be interviewing us on what kind of Diversity and Inclusion cultures, practices and supports we have in place.
The discussion today will feed in to the development of our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and our commitment in the forthcoming LGBTI national strategy to further develop and implement inclusive recruitment practices across the public sector in conjunction with our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
Many thanks to the panel members, all those who attended and the team who pulled this excellent session together.