In recent years, the British workplace has become more diverse. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals form an important part of this diversity. Most large organisations have established LGBT employee networks to support gender and sexual minorities and run training programs to inform employees about equality and diversity related matters. Despite this, we still know little about LGBT networks and why adversity against this group of employees has not yet been stamped out.
To address this problem, this project aims to offer better understanding of how LGBT networks are run and what they can do to improve relationships between colleagues, and ultimately, improve the wellbeing of LGBT employees. In doing so, we focus on LGBT employee networks within the NHS in nine different institutions by administering surveys, interviewing network members and taking part in network activities. To achieve our research aims, the following objectives have been set:
- Establish baseline understanding of how LGBT employee networks operate;
- Map network membership and explore ways of addressing insufficient representation of different groups within the networks;
- Explore what support is in place to achieve network’s vision and what barriers exists to realise this vision;
- Examine ways of using LGBT employee networks to address negativity towards sexual and gender minorities more effectively.
This project relies on the participation and contributions of NHS LGBT networks across the UK and this website will play a key role in hosting discussions between these networks and LGBT NHS employees, as well as providing regular updates on the ongoing research through our blog and newsletters. With support from our research partners, NHS Employers; Stonewall; Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) the results of the research will be published, debated and applied, reaching LGBT employees in and outside of the NHS, HR practitioners, policy makers, scholars and the general public. In addition to the website, we will communicate our findings and encourage further conversation through the production of a mobile app which will facilitate communication between LGBT networks, Twitter, on the road regional workshops, national and international conference presentations, a press conference and a theatre production.