Empowering LGBTIQ+ Civil Society Through Business Collaboration

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This toolkit is designed to help LGBTIQ+ civil society organisations to interact with businesses more effectively and more productively.

The toolkit focuses on:

  • – Opportunities and challenges
  • – Myths and mindsets
  • – Gaining business support
  • - Approaches and methodologies
  • – Sustaining commitments

With concrete examples and real-life actionable suggestions, the toolkit is designed to be practical, goal-driven and sustainable.

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What is this toolkit about?

Collaboration between civil society and business is important in the advancement of the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) wish to develop constructive relationships with business but often lack the knowledge and experience to make those first important steps.

While both civil society and the business sector stand to benefit from enhanced collaboration for greater LGBTIQ+ equality, there can be misunderstandings about each other’s motives and there is a significant gap to be bridged.

This Civil Society Business Toolkit tackles these dilemmas through a systematic, sustainable and practical approach to help CSOs build and strengthen relationships with businesses.

Getting Started

Clarifying your aspirations, your business partners’ objectives, how to assess the current situation and how you can best work together.

Why This Matters

A summary of the business case for LGBTIQ+ Inclusion together with an understanding of why it makes sense for CSOs to work with the Corporate Sector.

Navigating the Toolkit

Eight practical tools to help improve collaboration with business partners and to make your work with them both tangible and actionable.

Commitments and Actions

How to turn good intent into a clear and committed set of actions which will advance LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace and in society, now and in the future.

Why does this matter?

LGBTIQ+ Inclusion – Society at a Crossroads

Me Too, Black Lives Matter and the Global Pandemic are some of the major social changes happening in our world today. We are at a crossroads in how societies react to these developments.

Workplaces around the world are impacted by these events and it is unlikely that we will go back to ‘business as usual’. Populism continues to have a negative effect on our community. In some countries ideological challenges are becoming enshrined in legalisation.

However, there are positive signs of progress. In countries from South Africa to Mexico, legislative and societal progress is being made on LGBTIQ+ inclusion.

The Business Case for LGBTIQ+ Inclusion

Many responsible businesses will already have a business case for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. Although these will vary by company and by sector, they generally consist of four elements:

  • - Talent and leadership
  • - Productivity and performance
  • - Brand and reputation
  • - Social and moral

Civil society organisations should understand the business case and consider how their skills, experience and networks can help businesses to create more inclusive workplaces.

How it works - Navigating the Toolkit

Based on the research that we conducted with CSO participants, we have developed eight tools to support developing and sustaining relationships with the business sector.

Each tool includes a review of the facts and issues relating to a specific focus area, then looks at the opportunities and challenges and finally provides practical approaches that you can use with your business partners.

We include quotes from our research and a range of tools to help you make progress.

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