Whether one is heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bi – or how you live and love – is defined individually, and many organisations consider their employees’ sexual orientation and identity a private matter and thus not relevant for everyday work life. In fact, however, small talk at the coffee machine, conversations in the cafeteria or company parties with one’s partner are part of the day-to-day work routine; usually the norm of a heterosexual partnership is assumed as a matter of course.
More and more organisations have recognised that dealing with this dimension openly does away with the pressure to justify oneself, in this way releasing much motivation and commitment.
The intrinsically scarcely visible dimension of sexual orientation and identity becomes recognisable in many organisations through networks or employee groups. These networks have the purpose on the one hand of enabling networking and an exchange of experience among their members. On the other, they help in dealing with different sexual orientations and sexual identities within the organisation. As in all networks, the emphasis is on being open for all people and not excluding anyone.
In addition, an intensive examination of sexual orientation and identity opens doors to new talents and customer groups, for instance when taking sexual diversity into account in marketing decisions.