Coming together is a start, working together is a success. Nominations for the LGBT+ Diamonds Awards begin
Poland occupies increasingly lower positions in the Rainbow Europe Map and Index study, which assesses the level of equality for LGBT+ people. To reverse this trend, many NGOs, social activists and companies are taking initiatives to build tolerance, diversity and inclusion. Over the last five years, such projects have received awards at the LGBT+ Diamonds Awards competition, organized by NatWest Group in Poland, which this year has been joined by Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) as co-organizer. From now on, you can submit your favourite initiative in public nominations.
For the third time in a row, Poland was at the bottom end of the Rainbow Europe Map and Index ranking, which estimates the degree of equality of LGBT+ people in 49 European countries. Poland was in 43rd position along with Monaco. Only five countries scored worse: Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. As many as 43 percent of LGBT+ people in Poland feel discriminated against in their surroundings, according to research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. This data indicates that we still have a lot of work to do.
We need social change, and we're part of it. Diversity is a value not only in business, but in every area of life. We have noticed in recent years that there has been a lot of talk about LGBT+ people in Poland. More and more companies, NGOs and activists are being nominated in our competition. There is also a growing interest in the policy of inclusiveness in the professional environment. This shows that acceptance is the result of understanding and empathy towards others - says Rafał Dembe, head of the LGBT+ employee network at the NatWest Group in Poland.
We've been together for five years!
The LGBT+ Diamonds Awards have been organized since 2018. It rewards people, companies and non-governmental organizations working to build a society in which everyone has equal rights. The awards are an expression of gratitude for introducing changes in local communities, inclusive business management and having the courage to speak out about the situation of LGBT+ people in Poland. In previous editions, the awards were given to those companies that, among other actions, introduced internal inclusive communication and created rainbow employee networks to social organizations that co-created equality marches as well as to those people who inspired others with their courageous action on behalf of LGBT+ people.
From July 18th to September 2nd, you can submit your nominations to http://www.lgbtdiamondsawards.pl/ There are six categories:
Employer of the Year supporting LGBT + people
Employee LGBT+ year network
LGBT+ person Ambassador
Initiative of the Year supporting LBGT+ people
Partnership of the Year (NGO)
Local Initiative of the Year
ABSL joins NatWest to coorganize LGBT+ Awards
This year Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) partnered with NatWest Group to co-organize the event. ABSL represents over 240 largest companies and set the standards and directions for growth in the industry, which now employs around 400,000 people. DE& is the driving force of the business services sector.
- Meeting is a beginning, working together is a success. This year's LGBT+ Diamonds Awards motto makes it clear that we get the best results by working together. We share a common goal, promoting values such as openness, tolerance and respect for diversity. NatWest Group in Poland, ABSL, cooperating companies, rainbow social organizations and activists are united in the desire to reward leaders of inclusive changes. We are also united by an idea that allows for cooperation between the business and social environments, which culminate with the LGBT+ Diamonds Awards final - explains Anna Berczyńska, Vice President of Talents, ABSL.
Inclusivity at work and beyond
With the increased visibility of LGBT+ people, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is on the increase. As many as 43 percent of LGBT+ people declared that they feel persecuted in their surroundings, according to research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Well-being and motivation of employees is shaped not only by benefits and salary, but also by a company's organizational culture and equality within its structure, and almost importantly, a friendly working environment. In previous editions of the LGBT+ Diamonds Awards, Nielsen, Dentons Europe Dąbrowski i Wspólnicy and IKEA Polska won awards for building a professional environment conducive to diversity.
- Inclusive programmes should be a standard, not a distinguishing factor in the labor market. We use this approach in NatWest Group in Poland and also try to promote it outside the company, as well as showing good practices in other organizations as part of the LGBT+ Diamonds Awards competition - adds Rafał Dembe, head of the LGBT+ employee network at NatWest Group in Poland.
The implementation of the idea of diversity & inclusion means ensuring that every employee, regardless of their origin, education, values, identity and sexual orientation, has the same opportunity for success. Diversity and inclusion policies should take advantage of differences, allowing everyone to achieve their ambitions and plans.
- Our task is to educate, share good practices and indicate why and how companies, institutions and employees should take care of the implementation of diversity & inclusion programs. Let us remember that shaping diverse jobs is a process that cannot be carried out in a single day, or even a year. It requires many activities in various areas, commitment and continuity of activities - explains Anna Berczyńska, Vice President of Talents, ABSL.
Together with experienced companies and organizations in the field of diversity, a list of good practices has been created for employers who support LGBT+ people. It includes activities such as: conducting regular training on diversity and equal treatment; the use of inclusive language in the workplace, in official documentation, presentations; creation and support of employee networks, including rainbow networks; regular cooperation with non-governmental organizations, e.g. by paying part of the profit to a selected NGO as well as many other activities that make everyone feel good and allow people to be themselves at work.
The LGBT+ Diamonds 2022 Awards will take place on 26 October. The event will be broadcast on Facebook and on the competition’s website. The initiator of the event is NatWest Group in Poland, a British financial institution which has been operating on the Polish market for 15 years, and whose team of employees has created one of the largest rainbow networks in Poland. This year, for the first time, the competition is co-organized by ABSL - the Association of Leaders of the Business Services Sector, which brings together representatives of companies from the modern services sector.
 Rainbow Europe Map and Index 2022, https://www.ilga-europe.org/report/rainbow-europe-2022/.
 A long way to go for LGBTI equality, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2020-lgbti-equality-1_en.pdf, 2020.