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Amanda Yik from Community Business, Robert Cheung from the University of Hong Kong, and Richard Seeley from Barclays

Amanda Yik from Community Business, Robert Cheung from the University of Hong Kong, and Richard Seeley from Barclays

Groundbreaking research sponsored by Barclays has revealed that the majority of Hong Kong’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in the public and private sectors continue to face discrimination in the workplace.

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The results show that the corporate sector in Hong Kong must take a proactive role in fostering LGBT-inclusive environments. It is our responsibility to advance LGBT-inclusion programmes that will lead to a greater engagement on LGBT issues in Hong Kong, and a broader understanding of equality in the workplace.
Richard Seeley, Head of Prime and Equities Securities Operations, Asia, and Regional Head of Spectrum in Asia, Barclays.

The survey, the first of its kind in the region, is a collaboration between Barclays, Community Business and the University of Hong Kong.

It was published last week and aims to understand attitudes to, and experiences of, LGBT employees across industries in Hong Kong.

“We know that people are more effective if they can be themselves at work,” said Jeff Deck, Asia Pacific Vice Chairman, and Spectrum’s Asia Pacific Executive Committee Sponsor. “Research like this reaffirms the importance of our commitment to diversity and shows once again that Barclays is taking the lead in highlighting and addressing LGBT issues in the workplace.”

The results were announced to coincide with International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia at a launch event hosted by Richard Seeley, Head of Prime and Equities Securities Operations, Asia, and Regional Head of Spectrum in Asia, Barclays.

Over 150 participants – including business leaders, and representatives from government bodies and non-profit organisations focused on diversity and inclusion – listened to keynote speaker Kevin Jennings, CEO of Be The Change, Inc and Founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, as he discussed global developments in LGBT inclusion in the workplace.

“Equality of opportunity is a key principle at Barclays,” said Richard. “We are committed to fostering an environment that offers everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the same opportunities to be successful.”

Richard added: “The results show that the corporate sector in Hong Kong must take a proactive role in fostering LGBT-inclusive environments. It is our responsibility to advance LGBT-inclusion programmes that will lead to a greater engagement on LGBT issues in Hong Kong, and a broader understanding of equality in the workplace.”

This Hong Kong LGBT Climate Study 2011 (PDF 5.1MB, new window) confirms other studies that have demonstrated the business case for embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Potential benefits to business include increased performance, greater efficiency and lower turnover of employees.

Barclays continues to be a leading champion of LGBT inclusion. The Spectrum network is recognised across the globe as a benchmark for other organisations seeking to achieve similar progress in diversity and inclusion. It has recently been approached by other large global organisations in the region to give advice on how they can establish their own networks.

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