In honour of June being Pride Month, we’re using our platform over the coming weeks to highlight the importance of organisations that outwardly support and propel the LGBTQ+ cause forward, moving past inclusive policies to join the fight for widespread social change.
Despite coming a long way in achieving equality and inclusivity for members of the LGBTQ+ community, there are still some fundamental gaps in global acceptance. It’s up to us as individuals and organisations to strive to fill these gaps and further the LGBTQ+ cause.
The 18th SDG
The United Nations SDGs were agreed in 2015 and were signed on by 193 governments across the world. Many of you are already familiar with them, we’re sure. With a goal to achieve global peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future, we’re a big fan of the goals and think they’re a great framework for organisations to use for their sustainability and social value reporting.
But what you might not know is that LGBTQ+ rights, equality, and inclusivity were supposed to have their place in the SDGs. The SDGs aim is described as being:
To respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status.
Notice the absence of any direct mention of gender or sexual identities in this. We can’t help but feel, as the whole point of the SDGs is that we’re all in this together – “no one will be left behind” is their phrase after all – that it’s disappointing for such a huge section of the global population to, in fact, be left behind. And while the UN has openly campaigned for LGBTQ+ rights and vocalised their support over the years, it’s 2020 and the noticeable absence of the LGBTQ+ community in the SDGs highlights how we are still giving in to the few countries who are lagging behind.
The global picture
At best, the LGBTQ+ community could situate themselves in the ‘other status’ category of the UN’s description. But, as is clear from the following statistics, a vague inclusion isn’t doing the job. Frankly, it isn’t enough.
A widespread impact
With sexuality and gender identity missing from the SDGs description, the LGBTQ+ community is effectively excluded from these goals:
Whether it’s discrimination reducing their economic potential, educational opportunities, or exacerbating poverty. The stigmas surrounding HIV, reduced access to healthcare, or lack of safety against homophobic attacks, the challenges of the LGBTQ+ community touch on all aspects of daily life.
What can we, as businesses, do about it?
No matter how inclusive your business tries to be, these problems will still hit close to home. Whether your staff are suffering with their mental health, other health issues, struggling with their identity or sexuality, or are homeless, these issues will be prevalent both within your own staff and the wider world.
For businesses everywhere, it’s about joining the cause and taking part for more than just appearances. It’s more than having a rainbow flag in your window or sponsoring a float. It’s important we question what we are actually doing to tackle the very real problems LGBTQ+ people face on a daily basis – both in the workplace and on a national and global scale.
Moving past inclusive practices and policies – which are by this point just the right thing to do – how is your organisation showing their commitment and accountability for the cause? It’s about making your workplace as inclusive as possible, of course, but also furthering the education and inclusivity of society as a whole and the world we live in.
While the UN left out LGBTQ+ from their SDGs, as organisations, we don’t have to. Over the coming weeks, we’re going to dive deeper into what your organisation can be doing to deepen its support for the LGBTQ+ cause. We can and we will move past surface-level support to enact large-scale, social change.
Impact makes measuring and reporting on non-financial data simple. We align your organisation’s efforts with real-world, tangible outcomes to help you visualise your progress and keep doing more. If you want to find out more, get in touch on 0161 532 4752.