2019 is a landmark year for LGBT+ people: the 50-year anniversary of the famous Stonewall riots and just over 30 years since the UK implemented its homophobic Section 28 regulations.
The milestone year has left us wondering – with hate crimes against LGBT+ people increasing (including in the workplace) and people still protesting LGBT+-inclusive sex education – how far have we really come as a society when it comes to LGBT+ rights in education and employment?
Yes our PRIDE parades are bigger, and our workplaces are introducing more policies than ever before, but we must not be complacent because we also know that young LGBT+ people still suffer from depression at higher rates than their straight peers, trans people are much more likely to experience harassment and, in some sectors, an LGBT+ graduate is more likely to be denied a job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
It’s within this context that we came together to commission this important piece of research exploring
young LGBT+ people’s wellbeing and experiences in higher education and employment.
As organisations we understand that the best teams thrive on innovation, diversity of thought and a richness of views from a wide range of backgrounds. We also recognise that people flourish when they can bring their ‘whole selves’ to their environment, be it work or university. Therefore, it is important that we seek to build spaces that not only recognise who someone is, but also encourage and champion the important contribution individuals make because of their differences.
Coming together as a group of organisations demonstrates our commitment to foster a supportive culture where everyone can be their true authentic selves and develop to their full potential. But we believe that there is always more that we, and others, can do to further support LGBT+ students and graduates.
Whether you’re an employer, a university or another educational/work support system, we would like to encourage you to read the report, take note of the recommendations and join us in driving change where it is needed. For some, it could be life-changing.