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Education, Education, Education.

As Tony Blair once said: education, education, education. In relation to achieving full and fair equality for LGBT people, this could not be more important. Education provides the key to both unlocking equality and eradicating discrimination. It is therefore welcome news that the Government has announced a further £2.8m fund to support to tackle homophobic, biphobic & transphobic bullying in schools. However, whilst education in schools is vital, who is left to pick up the mantle for business and those not in education?

Here is where professional networks and organisations can play a vital role in educating employees and businesses about the importance of fully supporting the workforce. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but a happier workforce makes plain business sense. Repeated studies, as outlined in Government Equalities’ Office report of 2013 have found evidence that firms have reaped business benefits from equality & diversity. Furthermore, research conducted by the Work Foundation outlines that effective diversity policies have been linked to high performance organisations and result in, amongst other things, improved performance and innovative approaches to products.

Business also increases its ability to attract and maintain the best talent when equality is promoted in the workplace. A CIPD report, “Diversity: Stacking up the evidence” set out the key business benefits for developing diversity orientated organisations. These include greater access to different perspectives and sources of information and a greater understanding of customers. So what are the barriers?

Quite simply, kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from education. Providing clear advice on the business case for equality is imperative. Business must not only be aware of the case for equality, but be informed as to how this can be realised. This is where professional networks can help. Over the coming months, the PRCA LGBT network will be working with professional organisations and businesses to work towards a goal of supporting business take advantage of the benefits true equality offers. Our thought leadership programme will aim to underline the human and economic case for greater equality whilst our events will aim to tackle the concerns or questions industry may have.

To get involved in the PRCA LGBT Group, please contact Ethan Spibey