Working towards a more inclusive workplace with OUTstanding

Janine Chidlow

Resource Solutions is proud to be a corporate partner of OUTstanding, helping to promote diversity and raise awareness of the issues that LGBT executives may face in the workplace. As well as our corporate sponsorship, our aim is to work with our clients, our candidates and our own people to promote LGBT diversity through a series of networking events and seminars.

  • 62% of Generation Y LGBT graduates at university go back in the closet when they start their first job.
  • 41% of LGBT employees do not feel comfortable coming out at work
  • Gay women are significantly less likely (34%) to feel they have to suppress stereotypical feminine qualities to get to the top; Compared with 43% of straight women and bisexual women.
  • 25% of LGBT employees they are not open to colleagues about their sexual orientation.

OUTstanding is a not for profit professional network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) executives and their allies. Harnessing the talent of all executives and allowing them to be themselves is hugely powerful for companies, the economy and our society, and more importantly for the individuals themselves.

Resource Solutions is proud to be a corporate partner of OUTstanding, helping to promote diversity and raise awareness of the issues that LGBT executives may face in the workplace. As well as our corporate sponsorship, our aim is to work with our clients, our candidates and our own people to promote LGBT diversity through a series of networking events and seminars.

Janine Chidlow, Managing Director, EMEA and Americas at Resource Solutions spearheads the Group’s partnership with OUTstanding, a role which involves attending events as the Group’s official representative and leading our own support for LGBT professionals within the business.

We talk to Janine about why enabling LGBT people to be their authentic selves at work through mentorship and conversation can hugely impact the business and the next generation of leaders.

Encouraging inclusion and removing barriers

We are fortunate to be part of a global business full of driven and ambitious individuals where success is recognised and rewarded. However, the hours can be long and the demands are high and no one should have the added pressure of hiding who they are at work. OUTstanding exists to encourage LGBT diversity in the workplace through role modelling, encouraging LGBT leadership inclusion and helping to remove barriers that can get in the way of LGBT people rising to the top. These barriers can be institutional, self-perceived or culturally constructed.

Every LGBT person has their own journey and may face challenges along the way. Being treated differently at work shouldn’t be one of those challenges.

Mentoring and networking can be powerful tools

OUTstanding’s Mentoring Programme pairs professionals with senior leaders from the OUTstanding member network. Not only are these leaders recognised for their business accolades, they are role models because of who they are. I believe that creating more conversations creates more future role models, so as an LGBT ally, I participate in this programme as a mentor.  Encouraging these conversations as a business creates more opportunities for peer-to-peer support for LGBT people but also for others with LGBT friends or family members.

Looking into the future

Diversity and inclusion continues to be a top priority for our clients across all disciplines. Recognising the importance of our partnership with OUTstanding and facilitating an open dialogue is valuable not only for current LGBT employees, but also for future employees who are looking to grow and succeed in an inclusive environment.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Robert Walters Group, helping today's LGBT and ally leaders and future leaders working to create an environment where LGBT executives can succeed. Research has consistently shown that role models and inclusive workplaces have a positive impact on professional development and staff engagement, and the conversations that our events, research and mentoring scheme generates are hugely beneficial to all involved.” – Suki Sandhu, Founder & CEO, OUTstanding

 

Sources: Stonewall, Human Rights Campaign, Centre for Talent and Innovation, OpportunityNow