GLEN Announces Launch Of 'Diversity Champions Conference'

Maxinne Williams and Davin Roche speaking about the diversity champions conference

GLEN has just announced the launch of the inaugural ‘Diversity Champions Conference’ in partnership with Facebook


Yesterday GLEN, in partnership with Facebook, launched Ireland’s inaugural conference on LGBT inclusion in the workplace.

The conference, which is titled the Diversity Champions Conference, will take place on March 30, 2017 in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

The Diversity Champions Conference will be the first of its kind in Ireland bringing innovative international and national thought leadership and best practice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


What Issues Will Be Addressed?

The conference intends to support employers in Ireland to benefit from key diversity and inclusion opportunities for the private and the public sector today.

The conference will look at issues which will include attracting, retaining and nurturing diverse talent, ensuring workplaces are inclusive and affirmative, developing LGBT leaders and embedding inclusion into policies and practices.

Executive Director of GLEN Áine Duggan highlighted that Irish people want an “inclusive society” which encompasses workplace diversity while also indicating that LGBT people still suffer discrimination and bullying in work.

“As the 2015 marriage referendum demonstrated, Irish people want an inclusive society and culture that values all people,” Duggan said.

“Inclusion in the workplace is a vital component of that society, and a recognized value of successful businesses.”


Homophobic Bullying

Duggan continued, “However, we can see from the LGBTIreland Report that LGBTI people still face discrimination and exclusion in the workplace.

“Almost 1 in 5 people experiencing bullying in the workplace for being LGBTI, with much higher rates for intersex and trans people.

“This is why we are very excited at GLEN to partner with Facebook to make change happen,” Duggan announced.

“By holding Ireland’s first national conference on LGBTI equality at work, we are creating a unique platform for cross-sector showcasing and sharing of best national and international practices, and supporting employees and employers alike to work together to achieve inclusion at work.”


Commitment To Diversity

Head of Facebook, Ireland Gareth Lambe confirmed their commitment toward workplace diversity, whether that diversity be in relation to gender, sexuality, race or ethnicity.

“We are delighted to partner with GLEN on this conference,” Lambe said.

“At Facebook, we are committed to achieving a supportive workplace with an open culture and a broad range of perspectives on diversity including gender, LGBTQ, race and ethnicity.

“We have many initiatives in place to support inclusivity and we believe that diversity is everyone’s responsibility.”


Providing A Platform

Lambe continued to explain that the Diversity Champions Conference will facilitate businesses in supporting LGBT people in the workplace.

“The Diversity Champions Conference will provide a platform for businesses to share and learn from each other on experiences and best practices for supporting LGBTQ inclusive workplaces.”

Speaking at the conference in March will be Fiona Mullan, Facebook’s HR Director from EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Debbie Ferguson, Engineering Director at Facebook.

Mullan will speak about Facebook’s diversity programmes while Ferguson will discuss her experience as a transgender women in the workplace.

Additional speakers will be announced in the coming months.


Facebook Live

GLEN were joined in conversation by Maxine Williams, Global Head of Diversity at Facebook for a Facebook Live, earlier this morning to launch the conference.

Maxine and Davin Roche, Director of Workplace Diversity, GLEN, spoke about diversity in the workplace, the issues facing the LGBTQ community and how the conference will support positive change for LGBT people in the workplace.

Watch the Facebook Live video below, or on GLEN’s Facebook page and the Facebook Dublin page.


To learn more about the conference, line-up and to purchase tickets, visit

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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