LGBT Business Champion

The Government’s LGBT Business Champion, Iain Anderson discusses LGBT inclusion in the workplace, hosting businesses and charities events in Manchester

The role of the LGBT Business Champion is to collect information and evidence of good workplace practice and inclusivity. This information is then recommended by Anderson to businesses to improve their own workplaces.

This event on November 18, LGBT At Work, hosted representatives from a range of organisations to discuss how they make sure their workplace is inclusive of LGBT people.

Research suggests that LGBT people face high levels of bullying, harassment, and conflict in the workplace. According to Stonewall UK, 10% of black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year.

Around 23% of employed respondents to the National LGBT Survey 2017 reported that they had experienced a negative or mixed reaction from others in the workplace just for being a part of the LGBT community.

12% of trans people have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of their identity

Anderson’s role as LGBT Business Champion will focus on progressing LGBT equality in employment and in businesses.

The role will use the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index (FTSE) and sector business leaders to act as agents of change, increasing diversity in business leadership. They will consequently continue to build on the work the Government’s Equality Hub started with Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) in this field.

HMG LGBT Business Champion, Iain Anderson, said: “It’s fantastic to be meeting with all these amazing organisations from across the country as we build our understanding of what works for LGBT employees and their employers.

“The workplace is where the majority of us spend most of our time. I will be looking at where business and Government can work together to support LGBT workers. I’m determined that businesses – large and small – which have created inclusive, accepting and empowering workplaces are celebrated and their best practice shared. That is what today’s event is all about.”

The Business Champion role also involves delivering an event with Nick Herbert – the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT Rights and Chair of Safe to Be Me: A Global Equality Conference – that will showcase the UK as a leader on LGBT rights in 2022.

Businesses will play a leading role in inclusivity, making an economic case for LGBT equality

LGBT at Work will bring together businesses and civil society organisations such as Google, Asos and Auto Trader, to discuss how to support people to be themselves at work.

Minister for Equalities, Mike Freer, stated: “Everybody must be free to be themselves in all aspects of life. We are here to support businesses to foster an open and accepting culture so all staff feel empowered, regardless of their background, sexual orientation or anything else. We are also aware that we have a lot to learn from business.

“Today’s event and all the work Iain is doing alongside the Government will help open discussions between organisations about what more can be done to ensure the workplace is inclusive for LGBT employees.

“As we build back better we must also build back fairer so the whole of our society is able to flourish.”

The event signals development of a business-led network to share best practice on how to conduct inclusivity in the workplace.

The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT Rights, Nick Herbert, added: “It is great to be in Manchester today, talking with business and other organisations about the steps they have taken to make work a fair and inclusive place for LGBT employees.

“The Government wants business to play a key role in the UK’s first Global LGBT Conference – Safe to Be Me, which will be taking place in June next year.

“I know that there is a huge appetite from British business to deliver tangible commitments that make real positive change for LGBT people at home and abroad. Today I hope to hear a range of ideas which can contribute towards a successful event next Summer.”


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