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Creating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Awareness in Our Workplace

Company name : STATE STREET

Activity sector : Financial and insurance activities

Company category : Large company

 

Raise awareness, train and involve

Description of the action

At Luxembourg Diversity Day on 12 May 2016, we introduced LGBT awareness into our workplace by hosting a series of events throughout the day:

  • A diversity breakfast, including the video screening of a State Street employee who came out as a lesbian during a TED talk – “The Danger of Hiding Who You Are”
  • An interactive “LGBT - What’s the Story” lunch & learn session, featuring facts and figures, and interactive questions and answers
  • A keynote speech from our Luxembourg country head demonstrating his commitment to LGBTinclusion in State Street Luxembourg and announcing the planned launch of our Luxembourg PRIDE and Ally network
  • A moderated roundtable discussion where LGBT employees and an external guest shared personal experiences

This one-day event, which aimed to create a strong foundation for LGBT awareness, was followed by:

  • A diversity “lunch & learn” pilot workshop for a diverse group of participants, with a specific focus on exploring LGBT inclusion
  • Launch of the State Street Luxembourg PRIDE and Ally Network on 30 September 2016, coinciding with the launch of State Street’s Global Ally Program (GAP) – we were honoured to have Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel attend this event, as well as other external guests and speakers

Context

Creating an inclusive environment for all employees - including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees - throughout our company is an integral part of State Street's overallinclusion and diversity strategy.

Approach

At State Street, we believe the way to drive diversity andinclusion is for it to be business-driven and linked to the strategy of the organization as an integrated part of our business decisions and activity. In 2016, we launched the European Diversity Council, comprising senior leaders from across our European business and locations. The Council is responsible for driving an integrated, business-driven Diversity &inclusion strategy.


In the last year, the Council has conducted data-driven, in-depth research to determine how to influence diversity in each of our top six locations, including Luxembourg, rather than using a “one-size fits all” approach. As a result, we’ve identified diversity priorities for each location with the local country leadership team being held accountable to drive the action plan forward. Our emphasis on LGBT awareness was part of the focus for Luxembourg.

Objectives

State Street’s goal is to ensure that every employee feels valued, engaged and respected in the workplace.

Impact

State Street is committed to broadening the diversity lens beyond gender diversity, focusing on theinclusion of LGBT people in the workplace. Our Global Ally Program aims to raise awareness and educate all our employees about our LGBT community. We also want to ensure that we support our LGBT employees and create an equal workplace. We do this through the following means:

  • Encouraging employees to show visible support for the program
  • Educating employees through training and awareness materials
  • Empowering employees to be key drivers in integrating LGBT people into their daily functions.

« To do »

Aligning a top-down approach with the work of our employee networks is key to the success of our Diversity & Inclusion program. Leadership alone cannot drive a culture change. We support this business-driven approach by constantly working to build and grow our employee networks, and work with them to align their activities with our identified challenges and priorities. We believe that a business-driven, network-supported approach is practical and sustainable into the future.

« Not to do »

  • Don’t underestimate the power of branding and effective, targeted communications – both of which help connect an initiative to the corporate strategy and position it appropriately with the target audience.
  • Don’t shy away from tackling topics and workplace issues that may be perceived as « sensitive »; find connections and ways of making them meaningful in the workplace to dispel concerns and biases.

Keywords : Organizational culture

Published on 19 July 2017

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