Norton Rose Fulbright’s Ross Forgan
In an industry-first, a top law firm has held an event in Johannesburg about LGBT diversity and inclusion in the workplace, along with other leading companies.
The function was hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright’s Pride network on Tuesday, September 29.
It was attended by 51 members of LGBT networks representing 20 of South Africa’s largest and most forward-thinking corporations.
Pride is Norton Rose Fulbright’s global LGBT and Allies network that is active in Norton Rose Fulbright offices globally.
Dylan van Vuuren, a member of GABLE (P&G’s LGBT network) spoke at the event and his words resonated with those in attendance.
Van Vuuren shared some Do’s and Don’ts that came out from the lessons learnt in P&G and GABLE. These included:
- DO get support from leadership and get them to become allies and advocates for inclusive behaviour.
- DO engage with the majority of employees, as allies. They are the catalysts of change and role models for others.
- DO focus on education, and open discussions.
- DO it with planned continuity. Changing mindset does not work as a one off effort. So have regular events.
- DON’T rush. Take one step at a time to change attitudes
According to Pride’s chair at Norton Rose Fulbright, Ross Forgan, “LGBT networks are critical to ensure workplace equality and to provide vital peer support for LGBT staff who may feel marginalised.
“It is our hope that this event is an important step in bringing visibility to an increasingly important issue and in providing a space where proponents of diversity can exchange ideas and propose solutions that will have a lasting impact on everyone,” he said.
Norton Rose Fulbright intends to host this event as an annual initiative in its LGBT calendar, and said that it hopes to see more of South Africa’s corporates participating to drive diversity and inclusion.