Diversity could be key factor in reversing business Rainbow ‘brain drain’

diversityLeaders in Northern Ireland’s business community will discuss workplace diversity as a key tool in retaining and returning talent to the region at an event on 20 May.

Part of LGBT Awareness Week 2016, the Diversity Champions NI event titled ‘Business Rainbows. Better Together’ will examine if the changing landscape of diversity could attract back LGBT people who may have pursued careers in other regions.

Chaired by Fidelma Carolan, Equality Commissioner, speakers will include Catherine Vaughan, Head of EY LGBT Network, and representatives from local employers that have gained recognition from the Rainbow Project’s Diversity Champions NI programme for robust equality and diversity policies and practices.

In preparation for the event the Rainbow Project have published a survey asking if perceptions of LGBT inclusivity in the workplace have improved over the last decade and identify any underpinning factors. People wishing to express their view can respond to the twitter poll @DChampions or click here.

John O’Doherty, Director of the Rainbow Project said “As Northern Ireland seeks to compete in the global economy we must ensure our best talent is at the forefront of that effort. This event will discuss if people feel the diversity landscape has improved, and if that can be used to attract LGBT people back who may have moved to other cities they perceived as more welcoming or cosmopolitan when making career decisions.”

Diversity Champions NI was developed by the Rainbow Project in consultation with employers and government agencies including Allen & Overy, Belfast City Council, Department for Employment and Learning, Ernst  & Young, Lloyds Banking, Pinsent Masons, Public Health Agency and PwC.

The programme sets out sets out voluntary standards that organisations of all sizes can aim for if they wish to be viewed as inclusive and safe workplaces for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

 Paul Gillen, Employment Partner at Pinsent Masons said, “As the top ranked law firm (No. 5) listed in the Stonewall Index, Pinsent Masons has long been recognised for the value we place upon diversity in the workplace.  In the past Northern Ireland may not have seemed a welcoming environment for LGBT people to pursue rewarding and fulfilled careers. They may have chosen to move elsewhere, to major international cities such as London. I believe that context is changing and the work of inclusivity programmes such as Diversity Champions could be instrumental in ending and indeed reversing this ‘Rainbow brain drain’ of talent.”

The Diversity Champions NI event takes place at 4-6pm in Pinsent Masons, The Soloist, Lanyon Place, Belfast and is free to attend. To register your attendance email [email protected] or call 028 9031 9030.

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