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Home  »   LGBT+Latest News   »   PDA LGBT+ Network calls for equality in the workplace

PDA LGBT+ Network calls for equality in the workplace

In June, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) published a report titled ‘Being LGBT+ at Work: LGBT+ Workplace Experiences 2023’. The findings were based on qualitative research which aimed to uncover how much incorporating legal protections for LGBT+ workers has led to positive and inclusive workplace experiences.

Tue 18th July 2023 The PDA

Although the law provides safeguards against discrimination, harassment, and bullying, many LGBT+ workers reported negative and even harmful experiences in the workplace. Those interviewed expressed that they have witnessed progress over time but considered themselves fortunate when basic legal standards are met, revealing low expectations.

LGBT+ workers were particularly concerned about recruitment, and even those who are currently ‘out’ in the workplace said they would hide their identity when applying for a new job.

The research highlighted that transgender and non-binary staff face the greatest challenges in the workplace. Many considered that toxic narratives about LGBT+ people in the media are affecting LGBT+ experiences at work.

Whilst inclusive workplace policies are necessary, it takes time to change workplace culture. Many said that they would be unlikely to make a complaint at work, even though they had described discriminatory and bullying experiences such as being persistently misgendered or outed by colleagues.

The TUC recommends that employers and unions focus on building inclusive cultures at work and said, “Managers in all workplaces need to actively, consciously, and consistently create inclusive cultures, set behavioural expectations for everyone, and stamp out discrimination and bullying. This will create stronger, more successful organisations, with benefits for customers and clients too.”

The PDA LGBT+ Network welcomed the report which provides insight into the experiences of LGBT+ colleagues but were very concerned about the findings, particularly for transgender and non-binary workers.

Liam Volk, President of the PDA LGBT+ Network said, “I’m pleased that the TUC is taking the rights and wellbeing of LGBT+ workers seriously by supporting their recommendations and I am happy they engaged with pharmacists in this report. The findings, however, show that LGBT+ workers generally have low expectations for how they’re treated in the workplace, and there is a consensus emerging that trans and non-binary inclusion has gone backwards in the workplace. With this in mind, I think there is still a lot more that needs to be done before we can celebrate. I hope that employers within pharmacy will act to ensure our workplaces are inclusive.”

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