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HSE launches LGBTI and Allies Network for employees

The aim of the Network is primarily to support employees who identify as LGBTI “to participate fully in the workforce, in every respect, through bringing their entire identity into the workplace”.

The HSE said this can be achieved “with commitment from all levels of the organisation to a truly inclusive workplace, supportive policies and procedures, peer support for Network Members and Allies, networking opportunities, both internal and external, and other related initiatives”.

The launch of the Network is being led by the Diversity Equality and Inclusion Unit of the HSE’s HR Division. The formation of this Network has been identified as a key priority for the HSE in 2017.

Welcoming the development, HSE Director General Mr Tony O’Brien said: “Employees of the health service bring a range of skills, talents, diverse thinking and experience to the organisation. We are committed to creating a positive working environment for all staff. We want to ensure that all employees are respected, valued and can reach their full potential.”

Also speaking at the launch, the HSE National Director of Human Resources Ms Rosarii Mannion said: “The HSE wishes to promote an LGBTI aware and inclusive workplace that is free from discrimination and embraces diversity. The Network will play an important role in creating a positive work environment where homophobic and transphobic bullying and harassment is prohibited.”

Ms Siobhan Patten, Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the HSE’s HR Division, said: “Our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion plan is aligned to our organisation’s People Strategy. The formation of this Network is about encouraging all employees to bring all aspects of themselves to the workplace and supporting our LGTBI colleagues has been identified as a priority.”

Specific goals of the network will be informed by the membership of the group once it has been fully established, but may include:

• A social network for LGBTI Employees and Allies to meet social needs and address issues of isolation

• A forum to ensure anti-discriminatory measures for LGBTI staff within the organisation are robust

• A forum to develop policy, and to validate organisational HR and other policies as being LGBTI-friendly and free from direct or indirect discriminatory influences

• A health promoting and welfare forum for LGBTI employees

• Support a positive work environment by tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying and harassment, and fostering mutual respect for all.

Speakers at the Network launch event included DG Mr O’Brien, Ms Bernardine Quinn, Dundalk Outcomers, the LGBTI peer group in the North East, and Ms Bernie O’Connor, ESB, who gave a presentation on the ‘Be Me at ESB’ programme.

The announcement the HSE LGBTI and Allies Network happens during Dublin LGBTQ Pride 2017, taking place this week.

Twitter hashtag: #hselgbti

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