From social good to inclusivity

As you all know, this year’s LGBTQ theme is promoting inclusivity within the workplace. It is without a doubt that the global workforce is increasingly becoming diversified, and as such, emotional intelligence is now a requisite in the contemporary workplace. Within the Kenyan context, I am elated to report that most Kenyan-based companies are now cognizant of the fact that their existence is not only limited to profit generation but they also play an instrumental role in enhancing the lives of the people they serve or interact be it clients, employees or the community large.
For instance, we have seen companies such as Safaricom, taking strong positions on climate change and use of green energy; Equity Bank has been at the forefront of providing education for the underprivileged; Unilever is leading the fight against water and sanitation-related diseases among children while Microsoft is bridging the digital inclusion gap among girls. There is a clear moral and corporate responsibility to do social good. Studies have shown that companies that do good, do well.

While in 2019 we do not expect people to imagine HIV/AIDs is spread through contact with LGBTI people, it will be an understatement to say that there is a huge stigma associated with being LGBTQ in Kenya, and unquestionably so in the workplaces. According to a 2015 study conducted by Hivos, Sullivan Marketing & Workplace Pride on the state of LGBTQ workplace inclusion among multinational businesses in Kenya, the report[I] [/I]revealed that although the companies could have created ‘policy’ environments for LGBTI self-disclosure, there were still concerns that LGBTQ-identifying employees would be treated differently by their colleagues, would reduce their chances of career opportunities and would affect the working relationship with others.

Takataka shoga kîhîî