Owing to Sri Lanka’s legal landscape and social stigmas, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTIQ) community faces discrimination on a daily basis. As such, one of the biggest challenges LGBTIQ individuals face is finding and retaining employment. Research shows that they face higher levels of harassment and discrimination at workplaces and are more likely to be fired and/or denied promotions. This severely compromises their economic security, leaving them vulnerable.
On the other hand, finding skilled and talented labour is a common issue that many companies in Sri Lanka face. High staff turnover is costly, especially during uncertain economic times – like the one we are living in right now. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and having LGBTIQ-friendly workplaces can help businesses avoid costs associated with high labour turnover. Moreover, in today’s highly globalised economic environment, abiding by non-discriminatory standards is important to becoming competitive in international markets.
Keeping this dual dynamic mind, EQUAL GROUND has launched Dedunu Sawiya, the first website of its kind in Sri Lanka, offering a safe virtual space for both job seekers and employers to connect.
It presents a forum where LGBTIQ employees can find job opportunities with corporate partners who are allies and have obtained the Diversity & Inclusion Certification from EQUAL GROUND. This forum gives corporate allies the opportunity to advertise their vacancies to a targeted audience. Uniquely, it allows LGBTIQ community members to advertise their employability skills to LGBTIQ friendly businesses in Sri Lanka. It also includes skills development modules for potential job seekers and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) training for the corporate sector.
EQUAL GROUND is the only LGBTIQ organisation in Sri Lanka conducting diversity and inclusion training and sensitising programmes. Further information is available via firstname.lastname@example.org or +94114 334 279)