LGBT+ Network strives for inclusive and diverse workplaces

Nestlé’s UK & Ireland's LGBT+ Network celebrates its commitment to a respectful and working environment with a series of films showcasing its LGBT+ employees.

LGBT+ Network strives for inclusive and diverse workplaces
As part of 2019 Pride Month and marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, food and drinks manufacturer Nestlé has released a series of films that explore what it means to identify as LGBT+. Featuring staff from the Nestlé UK & Ireland LGBT+ Network, the three-minute films are part of the Network's mission to inspire and galvanise the business to be recognised as a respectful and inclusive place to work.Nestlé employs around 8,000 people at factories and offices across the UK and Ireland. The Network was put in place to provide support, advice and networking for the company's LGBT+ colleagues and allies. It encourages open conversation around LGBT+ well-being and challenges stereotypes to ensure that Nestlé UK & Ireland is a workplace grounded in respect, where all employees can be themselves.

Working to rewrite a history of LGBT+ discrimination

In the past few years, many laws across the UK and Ireland have been abolished, giving gay, lesbian and bisexual people the same rights as heterosexual people. And while LGBT+ acceptance and gay rights have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in New York at the end of the 1960s, there is still much to be done – particularly in areas such as transgender equality, homophobic abuse/bullying and LGBT+ mental well-being. Around the world, there are currently 70 countries that criminalise same-sex relations.

Nestlé has taken a proactive approach to prevent these issues within its culture with the formation of the Nestlé UK & Ireland LGBT+ Network in 2016. Since its inception, the Network has established a core group of employees who meet on a regular basis to plan, support and implement new procedures and policies to make Nestlé a better place for LGBT+ colleagues.Emma Scott, co-founder of the Network, said, “At Nestlé, the progress we are making for our LGBT+ colleagues is truly accelerating. In the space of just a few years, what started as a chat between two of us over a coffee, has evolved to the creation of a truly focused and ambitious LGBT+ Network, with over 20 core members and 120+ supporters and allies.”

Committing to an inclusive workplace

A key early success for Nestlé was its commitment to inclusivity by joining the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme, which has offered key support and advice to Nestlé. As a Stonewall Champion, Nestlé UK is participating in the annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, the UK’s definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.Ms Scott added, “Our Network has gone on to facilitate a new relationship with Stonewall and because of this Nestlé is, for the first time ever, benchmarking our policies and procedures for LGBT+ people against the UK corporate environment. Alongside the conversations inside Nestlé, the Network has also been pivotal in raising our visibility externally, our participation in Pride events, across our markets and close to our operations sites has been fully embraced by the business.”For more on Nestlé, visit: www.nestle.co.uk. Follow the UK and Ireland team on Twitter: @NestleUKISubscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.
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