26 April 2018

  |  CBI Scotland

Press release

Scottish Businesses should step up as LGBT allies & promote workplace diversity - CBI Scotland

CBI Scotland hosted a CBI LGBT network event in partnership with Standard Life and ScottishPower

Scotland’s business leaders must do more to consider the impact of working practices, policies and cultures on LGBT colleagues and to create workplaces that help all employees to perform at their best. 

As a result, CBI Scotland is urging companies to look at what they can do to become better LGBT allies and to make their workplaces more supportive and inclusive.

The CBI LGBT network event, hosted by Aberdeen Standard Life in Edinburgh and sponsored by ScottishPower, welcomed Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson MSP. As one of the UK’s highest profile LGBT leaders, Ruth spoke about her experiences and outlined the barriers she has seen LGBT professionals face.

The event was facilitated by renowned broadcaster Shereen Nanjiani – a pioneering figure in her own right, as Scotland’s first Asian news anchor.   

Speaking as guest of honour at the event, Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:

“People perform better when they can be themselves – if more employees are happy, settled and focussed at their work, the whole company benefits.

“The law is a blunt instrument when it comes to how open, friendly or welcoming a work environment can be. Equality is the law – making sure people feel equally valued is a harder nut to crack.

“Those firms who get it right won’t just be delivering a societal good, they’ll be helping their bottom line as well.”

Facilitating a panel session at the event, CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black said:

“Creating inclusive workplaces where all employees can fulfil their potential is a CBI priority – whether that’s promoting gender diversity or helping companies better understand how to support LGBT colleagues.

“While it’s the right thing to do, we also know that there’s a positive business case for taking action – with more diverse companies outperforming their rivals. There’s really no excuse for businesses not doing more to promote inclusion.

“Hearing from someone like Ruth Davidson, who has risen to the very top of public life, can inspire business leaders to take action within their own companies. It’s only through personal insight and shared experience that we can work together to make workplaces more inclusive and businesses more successful as a result.”

Event sponsor, Keith Anderson CEO of ScottishPower said:

“As one of Scotland’s largest employers, we recognise the importance of creating a workplace environment where our employees can thrive. We’re a proud supporter of Stonewall Scotland and welcome the opportunity to join CBI Scotland’s rallying call and become an LGBT ally.

“As CEO, I’m determined to make the ScottishPower workplace as supportive and inclusive as possible for everyone at all levels of our business. It's crucial to our business that we attract and retain diverse talent, a workforce that mirrors the communities we serve and understands the diverse needs of our customers. It’s only when business are open and honest about the changes needed, as Ruth has discussed this evening, can real change be achieved and progress made.”