Minister Paschal Donohoe joins to celebrate one year of GLEN's Business Ambassador's Council

24 January 2017

GLEN were delighted to welcome Minister Paschal Donohoe T.D., of the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform, to celebrate one year of the Business Ambassador's Council. The Minister delivered the keynote address at the Executive Leaders Evening, hosted by EY on January 24th, 2017.

GLEN, the LGBTI equality network, welcomed Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to their Diversity Champions Business Ambassadors Council Executive Leaders Evening. The Minister delivered the keynote address at the event, which was held at the EY Ireland offices to mark one of the Diversity Champion's Business Ambassador's Council. The event focused on the importance of workplace diversity and how initiatives such as GLEN's Diversity Champions programme can drive forward LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe said "GLEN's Business Ambassador's Council offers a valuable platform through which businesses, agencies and bodies can promote diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. As one of the newest recruits to the Diversity Champions programme, my own Department takes immense pride in supporting a more open and inclusive workplace which has benefits not just for employees but for the organisation as a whole."

Chair of the Business Ambassador's Council and Country Managing Partner for EY Ireland, Mike McKerr commented: "The progression of LGBTI equality in the workplace is imperative to ensuring that people can bring their whole selves to work and not worry about how they might be perceived. Initiatives such as the Business Ambassador's Council lead the way in helping us as organisations share best practice, while at the same time encouraging others to embrace the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, and we're delighted to play our part in its continued success. Fostering a diverse and inclusive environment is at the heart of our culture at EY and we believe this has played an essential part in our continued success as a competitive business and leading employer in the market".

The Business Ambassador Council brings together industry insights and experiences of senior business leaders to focus on the inclusion, diversity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people in Ireland. It provides advice and counsel on LGBTI workplace issues to drive forward equality in Ireland. Members of the Council work in a variety of public and private sector organisations.
The workplace is one of many areas of focus for GLEN and the findings of the LGBT Ireland Report reiterated that with almost 1-in-5 people experiencing bullying in the workplace for being LGBTI¹, the rates are higher again for trans and intersex people. Through the Diversity Champions Business Ambassador's Council's accumulated experience, GLEN hopes to offer industry-informed ways to address workplace issues that relate to a person's gender identity and sexual orientation.

Minister Donohoe continued "In order to eliminate discrimination, promote equality, and protect human rights, we must ensure that people enjoy a workplace that not just allows them to be who they really are but one that celebrates differences. This elicits a confidence in staff, encouraging people to shine and reach their full potential."

"A workforce that is rich in different experiences and perspectives better represents the society we live in. Becoming a member of GLEN's Diversity Champions programme sends a clear message that LGBT employees are valued and respected. I commend GLEN and congratulate the Council on its first anniversary and look forward to seeing the Network going from strength to strength." ended Minister Donohoe.

Click here to see the photos from the evening.

1 Higgins. A., et al. (2016) The LGBTIreland Report: national study of the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Ireland.