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New initiative to end LGBT workplace discrimination launches

A newly formed anti-bullying organisation is urging business owners to ensure their workplace is inclusive of any lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) employees.

The Community Brave Foundation was founded by Rami Mandow last year and is asking businesses, large and small, to get involved as volunteers or mentors with the initiative – which aims to tackle the problem of sexual orientation discrimination within the workforce. Under the program, businesses and individual participants will be trained up with the necessary tools, resources and skills to help them deal with LGBT discrimination and bullying.

“The workplace is an important space, as we spend a third of our time at work, so we need to make sure we get attitudes right in this space,” Mandow told Dynamic Business.

“Any bullying that occurs, especially around one’s sexual orientation, in the workplace should not be tolerated and should be dealt with straight away,” he added.

A line-up of some of Australia’s most famous faces will feature in a new series of anti-LGBTIQ discrimination video campaigns, which have been designed to be shared via social media.

News presenter Jessica Rowe, Celebrity Apprentice contestant Charlotte Dawson and Australia’s Next Top Model Madeline Huett, have all come out in support of the initiative.

“Having the support of some wonderful Australian talent in our videos will help us reach and influence a wider audience,” Mandow said.

Mandow was able to tell Dynamic Business exclusively that Community Brave is in the process of scoring a major Australian sports team to feature in one of its videos within the next few weeks.

Every business should consider the interests of its LGBTIQ employees, so Mandow has the following tips for SMBs that are looking to create a gay-friendly workplace:

1. Support diversity: The benefit of having a LGBTIQ friendly workplace means businesses stand for all types of equality, which will have an impact on the range of employee talent it attracts.

2. Hire staff based on performance not orientation: By hiring LGBTIQ staff, you help provide employees with a greater sense of inclusion and are creating non-judgemental, fair environment.

3. GBe recognised as a leader and reap the rewards for having a diverse workplace: The Australian Workplace Equality Index recognises businesses for employing a diverse range of people in the workplace, with Price Waterhouse Coopers taking the top spot in the most recent index.

4. Get involved with the LGBTIQ community: Set up a business stall at a gay and lesbian fair day, which is a good way to showcase your business to the LGBTIQ demographic and open it up to a new customer base.

5. Get involved in gay and lesbian events: Create a team that’s willing to show pride in its diversity, and join the likes of some big businesses who are leading the way such as ANZ, Google+ and the Australian Federal Police.

“We have a role to play to fix this issue and it is something that we can fix,” Mandow added.

To find out how your business can get involved, visit the Community Brave website.


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Derya Goren

Derya Goren

Derya Goren, a recent journalism graduate and currently a Masters in Islamic Studies student at Charles Sturt University.

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