Top choices for Gen Z employees: 47 businesses given the LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplace certification
2023 Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index announces results
(More than 100 business representatives participate in the event.)
【2023/12/19-Taipei】Today (12/19), Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association (Hotline) and Taiwan Equality Campaign (TEC) are unveiling the results of the “2023 Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index.” This marks the first-ever public survey conducted on businesses in Taiwan to understand the rights and experiences of the LGBTIQ+ community in workplaces. This initiative also highlights the best practices among businesses that support workplace diversity and inclusion. This year, a total of 62 companies participated in the survey, with 47 of them earning recognition as an “LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplace.” While most companies demonstrate a positive attitude and commitment to building an inclusive environment, Hotline and TEC note that there is still room for improvement, particularly in creating documents and policies to fulfill these commitments. Hotline and TEC hope that the 2023 index would encourage companies to delve more into promoting the workplace well-being of employees across generations. Moreover, it is also anticipated that these recognized LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces will serve as benchmarks for all industries, encouraging more companies to embrace an LGBTIQ+ inclusive work environment.
With foreign business taking up the majority, it is anticipated to see more participation from major Taiwanese companies in the future
Launched for the first time, the 2023 Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index is sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Micron Foundation, and Boston Scientific. From July to the end of September 2023, companies and organizations were invited to conduct a self-evaluation, reviewing their internal and external actions as well as outcomes related to LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion over the past 5 years (from January 2019 to June 2023). A total of 62 companies and organizations completed the survey questionnaire by the deadline, with their employee numbers ranging from 6 to more than 200. In terms of company scale, 62.9% of them are foreign companies with branches or bases of operation in Taiwan, followed by local companies with their headquarters or bases of operation only in Taiwan (24.2%). A relatively small number are large Taiwanese companies operating globally. Regarding sectors, the technology/information industry (24%) and healthcare/medicine and pharmaceutical (18%) lead the way.
Cathy Su, General Manager of Gilead, one of the sponsors for this project, says: “We are honored to sponsor this project and be recognized as an LGBTIQ+ inclusive business. We remain committed to promoting the values of LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces. We also hope that, with the release of this index, companies across different sectors will recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion, and together, we can work towards creating more inclusive workplaces in Taiwan.”
(Cathy Su, General Manager of Gilead)
Forty-seven businesses recognized as 'LGBTIQ+ inclusive' set new benchmarks for industries
The 2023 index invited companies and organizations to conduct self-evaluation on five major aspects, including “commitment,” “policy and benefits,” “employee network and support,” “internal training/workplace awareness,” and “social impact.” In this inaugural year, this project attracted many participants that have long been involved in issues surrounding LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. Overall, companies perform well on the indicators, with most completing more than 25 out of the 30 given questions. According to the final results, 47 companies earn recognition as “LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces.” It is anticipated that these recognized businesses will have positive impacts on Taiwanese industries, encouraging more companies and organizations in the country to embrace the spirit of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion and take concrete actions to fulfill this commitment.
Easier said than done, turning commitments into actions is the future focus
This year’s results show that companies demonstrate a strong and positive attitude and commitment to LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces. For example, 98% of the companies “support the idea of creating an LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplace,” while more than 80% (80.7%) “encourage employees to form LGBTIQ+ inclusive clubs or communities within the company.” Companies also show respect and provide actual protection for employees with regard to their sexual orientation and gender identity. 100% of the companies agree that “regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, all employees should enjoy the same benefits and protection,” and that they “ensure all employees enjoy equal opportunities for promotion and pay raises, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
However, Hotline and TEC also observe that, although a high percentage of companies indeed demonstrate a positive attitude and commitment, there is still room for improvement, particularly in implementing concrete policies and frameworks. While nearly all participants express support for the values of LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces, less than 70% of them (69.4%) have translated these beliefs into written policies. More than 80% of the companies encourage employees to form LGBTIQ+ inclusive clubs or communities within the company, but not all of them (72.6%) provide tangible resources to support such clubs. Moreover, less than 50% (47%) of the companies provide a gender-neutral nursery space for employees, while only 37% have gender-neutral employee facilities.
Sean Sih-Cheng Du, Secretary-General of Hotline, points out: “We are happy to witness the strong commitment demonstrated by the majority of companies participating in this survey. We hope that everyone can continue to work with us, transforming positive beliefs into tangible written statements and actual investments in resources and facilities, so that employees can truly appreciate the intention of their companies and experience an inclusive environment. These actions and their assessment will be a key focus of the index in the future.”
(Sean Sih-Cheng Du, Secretary-General of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association)
To recruit young talent: Gen Z looks for diversity and inclusion
According to a report published by the international LGBTIQ+ organization Out & Equal*, by 2023, employees from Generation Z are projected to constitute one-third of the entire employment market. Notably, Generation Z exhibits a more diverse range of sexual orientations and gender identities than any previous generation. In their pursuit of employment, they place increased emphasis on the values of diversity and inclusion, as well as their sense of belonging.
The 2023 index demonstrates some positive initiatives undertaken by the companies in talent management. More than 70% (74.2%) of them “ensure that their HR department or managerial employees receive training or instructions regarding the personnel regulations or relevant guidelines for LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplace.” Additionally, 95% of the companies “encourage or organize employees to participate in external events that support the LGBTIQ+ community.” Both the involvement of managerial-level staff members and the external communication efforts of the companies have a highly positive impact on how junior employees perceive their workplaces.
However, it is also observed in the survey that, only 69.4% and 66.1% of the companies manage to “raise awareness of issues related to LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion through internal networks,” and “organize internal employee training sessions or promotional activities for issues related to LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.” While the companies perform relatively weakly on these two aspects, they are however crucial measures for effectively creating inclusive workplaces. Hotline and TEC emphasize that the format and scale of employee training and promotional activities can vary greatly and be quite flexible, but the key is to engage all employees. Taking a best practice submitted by Blizzard Entertainment (Hong Kong) Limited, Taiwan Branch as an example, the company designed a game-like activity to celebrate International Pronoun Day. Using game characters and the logic of “accepting missions and collecting rewards,” a principle commonly seen in online games, this activity encourages employees to set up the pronouns they wish to use on all the work-related software. By doing so, this activity not only reflects the company’s primary business focus, game development, but also raises internal awareness in a lively and enjoyable manner. For anyone interested, more best practices will be shared on the official website of the 2023 Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index: https://inclusive-workplace.tw
Hotline and TEC also expect companies to consider establishing a series of concrete measures. These may include organizing regular training sessions on workplace inclusion, designing guidelines for employees going through gender transition, or even extending their influence to their business partners and industry peers. By doing so, they can demonstrate their commitments and actions as an LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplace.
Sebastian Lin, Deputy Executive Director of TEC, shares: “Upon the successful conclusion of the 2023 index, we express our sincere gratitude for the participation of all the companies. We hope that this index does not serve as a means of comparison but as encouragement, and an opportunity for businesses to improve in this area. The Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index is an ongoing project. We anticipate that the inclusive businesses recognized today may be examples for their respective industries, inspiring more businesses to join together in embracing an LGBTIQ+ inclusive work environment. By doing so, we look forward to witnessing more talents from Generation Z and across generations thriving together with their companies.”
(Sebastian Lin, Deputy Executive Director of Taiwan Equality Campaign)
(Meiying Juan, Director of Marketing of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association)
【About Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index】
In 2023, Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association and Taiwan Equality Campaign jointly launched the “Taiwan LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Workplace Index '' project. This initiative aims to comprehensively explore the rights and experiences of the LGBTIQ+ community in Taiwanese workplaces through a public survey of businesses. It also highlights the best practices among businesses that support workplace diversity and inclusion. Through this project, it is anticipated that more businesses may be encouraged to delve into the beliefs, values, and strategies related to LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion, and to create together a more diverse, inclusive, and friendlier work environment for Taiwan. For more information, please see: https://inclusive-workplace.tw
【About Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association】
Founded in 1998, Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association is the first officially registered national LGBTIQ+ organization in Taiwan. Initially focused on telephone consultations, Hotline has gradually broadened its services to encompass various communities, including parents of LGBTIQ+ individuals, elderly LGBTIQ+, LGBTIQ+ youth, lesbians, and transgender individuals. Hotline also actively advocates for gender-related policies, championing for LGBTIQ+ equal rights and striving to eradicate discrimination and unequal treatment targeting the LGBTIQ+ community. For more information, please see: https://hotline.org.tw/
【About Taiwan Equality Campaign】
Formerly known as the Marriage Equality Campaign, TEC is dedicated to eradicating all forms of gender- and sexuality-related inequalities through legislative initiatives, local networking, workplace inclusion, and international partnership. Our vision is to cultivate a more liberated society for future generations and to transform Taiwan into a nation where every individual, irrespective of their uniqueness, can lead a fair and happy life. For more information, please see: https://equallove.tw/
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