Vodafone has responded to a new study indicating that 31% of LGBT+ people go ‘back in the closet’ upon starting their first job by pledging to reform its recruitment processes to draw more talent from this section of society.
The telecoms giant was spurred into action by new research it commissioned from Out Now which showed that 58% of young LGBT+ people refuse to discuss their sexual orientation or gender identity at work for fear of discrimination.
In response it has vowed to embrace LGBT+ inclusive messaging’ on all job adverts and career channels as well as overhauling its code of conduct and introducing a ‘buddy’ programme for LGBT+ graduates. A new managers inclusive workplace toolkit will also be introduced in tandem with a learning programme and additional training.
In tandem with these initiatives, Vodafone has launched an anti-discrimination campaign, releasing a campaign film created by Casual Films. The film shows LGBTQ+ workers discussing the discrimination and prejudice they have faced in the workplace with heterosexual colleagues.
Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “I am saddened that so many young LGBT+ people feel they still have to hide their status in the workplace. We are committed to creating a culture at Vodafone that embraces everyone for who they are, inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Training for employees at all levels and visible signs of support through programmes like ours can make a real difference, and help to attract and retain a talented, diverse and productive workforce. The programme offers specific support for people starting their first job, which our research shows can be a particularly challenging experience for young LGBT+ people. We are also encouraging all employees to educate themselves and support LGBT+ colleagues to help create a truly inclusive workplace.”
The research was derived from interviews of 3,200 18-35 year olds in 15 countries.