Minster Donohoe joins LGBTI equality network GLEN to celebrate one year of the Diversity Champions Ambassadors’ Council

25th January, 2017

Council brings together senior business leaders in Ireland to focus on the progression of LGBTI equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Yesterday GLEN, the LGBTI equality network, welcomed Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to their Diversity Champions Business Ambassadors Council Executive Leaders Evening. The Minister delivered the keynote address at the event, which was held at the EY Ireland offices to mark one of the Diversity Champion’sBusiness Ambassadors’ Council. The event focused on the importance of workplace diversity and how initiatives such as GLEN’s Diversity Champions programme can drive forward LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.


Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe said: ‘The GLEN Business Ambassadors’ Council offers a valuable platform through which businesses, agencies and bodies can promote diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.  As one of the newest recruits to the Diversity Champions programme, my own Department takes immense pride in supporting a more open and inclusive workplace which has benefits not just for employees but for the organisation as a whole’.


Chair of the Diversity Champion’s Business Ambassadors’ Council and Country Managing Partner for EY Ireland, Mike McKerr commented: ‘The progression of LGBTI equality in the workplace is imperative to ensuring that people can bring their whole selves to work and not worry about how they might be perceived. Initiatives such as the Business Ambassadors’ Council lead the way in helping us as organisations share best practice, while at the same time encouraging others to embrace the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, and we’re delighted to play our part in its continued success.  Fostering a diverse and inclusive environment is at the heart of our culture at EY and we believe this has played an essential part in our continued success as a competitive business and leading employer in the market’.


The Diversity Champions’ Business Ambassador Councilbrings together industry insights and experiences of senior business leaders to focus on the inclusion, diversity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people in Ireland. It provides advice and counsel on LGBTI workplace issues to drive forward equality in Ireland. Members of the Council work in a variety of public and private sector organisations.


The workplace is one of many areas of focus for GLEN and the findings of the LGBT Ireland Report reiterated that with almost 1-in-5 people experiencing bullying in the workplace for being LGBTI¹, the rates are higher again for trans and intersex people. Through the Diversity Champions Business Ambassadors’ Council’s accumulated experience, GLEN hopes to offer industry-informed ways to address workplace issues that relate to a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation.


Minister Donohoe continued: ‘In order to eliminate discrimination, promote equality, and protect human rights, we must ensure that people enjoy a workplace that not just allows them to be who they really are but one that celebrates differences. This elicits a confidence in staff, encouraging people to shine and reach their full potential’.


“A workforce that is rich in different experiences and perspectives better represents the society we live in. Becoming a member of GLEN’s Diversity Champions programme sends a clear message that LGBT employees are valued and respected. I commend GLEN and congratulate the Council on its first anniversary and look forward to seeing the Network going from strength to strength.”


To learn more about GLEN’s Diversity Champions programme and to find out how your organisation can join, see www.diversitychampions.ie

To learn more about GLEN’s Business Ambassador’s Council, see www.diversitychampions.ie/about/business_ambassador_council


Editors Notes: 

Higgins. A., et al. (2016) The LGBTIreland Report: national study of the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Ireland.