Our Journey to becoming an LGBT Inclusive Employer
Today marks the first day of LGBT History Month, dedicated to promoting equality and diversity, raising awareness on matters affecting the LGBT communities and promoting the welfare of LGBT people. What better time to tell you about our journey to become an LGBT inclusive employer in our offices and for our candidates on sites.
Two years ago, CarmichaelUK launched Celebrate; an internal initiative to address inclusive recruitment, embedding diversity and inclusion practices throughout our business and in sourcing candidates. Part of this commitment saw us pledge to support recruitment within the LGBT community by becoming a member of the Diversity Champions programme, run by Stonewall.
According to research, almost 70 percent of LGBT people who are ‘out’ at work feel more supported by their managers and colleagues, compared to those who aren’t. We know that people perform better when they can be themselves and that a diverse team produces a more creative and productive work environment. By joining the Stonewall programme, we committed to creating a happier and more inclusive workforce in the recruitment sector.
Over the past two years, we’ve worked closely with Stonewall’s Membership Programmes team to ensure that our policies and practices are improved to create an organisation that is inclusive of all staff. As a company, we’ve enjoyed staff workshops, learnt appropriate terminology and discussed as a team the specific issues that might affect lesbian, gay, bi and trans colleagues. Through our partnership, we’ve been able to support the charities many fundraising events.
We have our own internal Celebrate Champions for each D&I partner that we work with. Austen Rigby and Gustas Kurmis are part of our Compliance team but also work closely with Stonewall and other LGBT network groups to help promote our inclusive recruitment ethos and we were delighted to join InterEngineering at both Pride London and the Thames Tideway Tour last year. By supporting such groups, we hope to inspire LGBT people hoping to become engineers, showing them that the construction industry is an inclusive one.
Company Director, Collette Carmichael said: “At CarmichaelUK we have always been committed to doing what is right, not what is easy. We feel that it is right to support Stonewall so that all of our staff, candidates, clients, and suppliers know that we will not tolerate discrimination in our workplace.
The ethos at the core of our company is that we will all strive to ‘be the best we can’ and joining Stonewall and networking with LGBT groups has reinforced this core value. With help from James, we are learning more, developing and improving to become a truly inclusive employer of choice and hope this influences other organisations within the sector to sign up to the programme and learn how they can make their organisations a better place to work”.