This month is LGBT+ History Month and the theme this year is “Claiming our past – Celebrating our present – Creating our future”.
Stonewall, the UK’s leading organisation fighting for the freedom, equity and potential of all lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer people, reports that almost one in five LGBT+ staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues because they are LGBT, and that more than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination. These alarming statistics clearly demonstrate the importance of events like LGBT+ History Month and why we all must continue to campaign for full LGBT+ equality in the UK in 2023.
We are proud of our workplace Equality Reps who are working hard to ensure that discrimination and unconscious bias become a thing of the past. But there is much more work to be done and we will not stop organising and campaigning until every workplace – including schools, colleges and nurseries –adopts a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination.
It is important that employees understand the importance of the Equalities Act within all workplaces – including education and early years settings. The Equality Act 2010 says you must not be discriminated against because of your sexual orientation.
If you have experienced discrimination, you can do something about it. This starts with ensuring you have a union that has a strong track-record in equalities. This is why you need Community in your corner!
Our Equalities Reps in the education sector do crucial work in ensuring our schools and other education settings are safe places for all staff and pupils.
There is a vital role for Equalities Reps to play within education, and Community is proud of the work that our Reps do, but we also recognise that more still needs to be done.
Education settings are covered under the Equality Act 2010 and need to make sure no one is singled out or suffers from less favourable treatment because they are LGBT+. Educators and workplaces should check that there are no practices which could result in unfair or less favourable treatment of such students or staff.
Community Reps at schools and other educational settings are working hard to ensure their workplaces adopt and implement a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and discrimination.
A trailblazing report from UCAS and Stonewall uncovers that nine out of ten LGBT+ students have a positive or neutral experience of the UK education system at higher education level – and shines a light on areas for improvement.
This month let us take the opportunity which LGBT+ History Month gives us and celebrate all the incredible achievements that the movement for LGBT+ freedom has made so far, but also recognise the fights we still need to win, in order to make all our schools, colleges and nurseries are truly inclusive for all.
Looking to tackle inequality in your workplace?
Together with our members, we are fighting for a better world for LGBT+ workers.
Are you looking to tackle inequality and make your workplace more inclusive? Visit our equalities hub today to access exclusive resources and advice, or click here to find out more about becoming an Equalities Representative today.