Supporting International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Darren Scott

May 17, 2017

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.

IDAHOT is now celebrated in more than 130 countries and what better day to take another look at our journey to become an LGBTI-inclusive employer in our offices and for our candidates on sites. Last year, CarmichaelUK launched Celebrate; an internal strategy 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.

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 are committing to creating a happier and more inclusive workforce in the recruitment sector.

We work closely with James Haq-Myles from Stonewall’s Membership Programmes team to ensure that our policies and practices are improved to create an organisation that is inclusive of all staff. Since meeting James 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 charity’s many fundraising events and were delighted to be the first recruitment company in the property & construction sector to sponsor the Stonewall Season Cabaret night in London last November.

Celebrate Champions, Austen Rigby & Gustas Kurmis (left) at Stonewall’s Cabaret Fundraiser

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 such as InterEngineering to help promote our inclusive recruitment ethos. This week, they’re attending the launch of What’s It Like; a series of videos profiling successful LGBT engineers. By supporting such groups, we hope to inspire LGBT people hoping to become engineers, showing them that there are people just like them in the industry.

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”.

Our D&I journey is an ongoing process of learning, implementing and maintaining awareness. We were delighted and privileged to be awarded the Supplier Award for Diversity & Inclusion at Skanska’s Supplier Forum in London last year.


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