Every June, we celebrate Pride. Pride Month is a time to recognise and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and acknowledge the work that still needs to be done to eradicate discrimination. At Cpl, we're committed to fostering inclusive work environments that embrace diversity. In 2017, we established our LGBTQ+ committee ‘BeProud’. This marked the formal beginning of Cpl’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) journey.
In this article, we delve into the significance of LGBTQ+ wellness, examine the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, and provide insights on fostering an inclusive and supportive environment.
Challenges faced by Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Community
The LGBTQ+ community faces significant challenges that impact their mental well-being, as indicated by a recent report from LGBT Ireland. Emotional and verbal abuse, trauma, neglect, isolation, and discrimination are factors contributing to mental health issues among LGBTQ+ individuals. Disturbingly, studies reveal that 75% of LGBTQ+ people in Ireland have experienced verbal abuse, and one in five have been subjected to physical abuse in public. These concerning statistics emphasize the pressing need for dedicated support and resources to address the mental health challenges encountered by the LGBTQ+ community.
Workplace wellness strategies
At Cpl, we are committed to fostering well-being and a strong sense of belonging for our LGBTQ+ colleagues. Below are two important elements that as an organisation we implement to promote the wellness of the LGBTQ+ community.
Make professional help readily available
Providing accessible professional support is crucial for the well-being of LGBTQ+ colleagues. It aids in overcoming personal and professional challenges and fosters the development of healthy coping strategies. At Cpl, we offer an Employee Assistance Programme that includes a confidential helpline available 24/7 and free one-on-one counselling services for all employees.
Create LGBTQ+ support groups
LGBTQ+ support groups foster a sense of belonging and togetherness. They provide safe spaces for people to connect, share experiences, and experience compassion. This is one of the contributing factors to the creation of our BeProud community. We promote our LGBTQ+ support events and ask our LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies to join and participate to combat social isolation and improve resilience.
Prioritising LGBTQ+ wellness helps create an inclusive and supportive work environment for all. This commitment is important for attracting diverse talent and encouraging innovation.
Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community daily
Promoting LGBTQ+ wellness requires a collective effort. Below are some suggestions on how we can all help the LGBTQ+ community in our daily lives.
Listen: Respect and listen to the LGBTQ+ community both online and offline.
Speak up: Take a stand against abuse towards the LGBTQ+ community inside and outside of the workplace. Discourage and challenge homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic comments and jokes, whether encountered online or offline.
Use inclusive language: Avoid using language that is insensitive to gender or assumes someone's sexual orientation. Embrace inclusive language that respects and includes all individuals.
Promoting LGBTQ+ wellness means embracing diversity, creating inclusivity, and supporting each other. At Cpl, we believe in being allies and empowering individuals to be themselves. Let's stand against discrimination, show kindness, and create a world where everyone can thrive.
Be You, Be Kind, Be Proud.
Wellness differs from person to person. Cpl’s Future of Work Institute (FOWI) develops bespoke wellness programmes that align with your diverse employee base. If your organisation is struggling to retain talent, reach out to the Future of Work Institute team today.