First Irish network for LGBTQ+ professionals launched in Cork

Cork Pride officially launched 'Work with Pride', a new initiative to allow LGBTQ+ professionals to network and build job relationships.

Members of the network Work With Pride for LGBTQ+ professionals, sitting on a rainbow flag.
Image: Via Twitter - @WorkWithPrideIE

Last night, May 12, the official launch of the initiative Work With Pride took place at the River Lee Hotel in Cork City. Founded in 2021 by Cork Pride, an LGBTQ+ organisation that hosts one of Ireland’s largest Pride events, the initiative is a network for LGBTQ+ professionals that aims at enabling them to build job relationships and expand their career opportunities.

The goal of Work With Pride is to foster a professional environment in which the LGBTQ+ community can feel safe and welcome. The network was created after a diversity and inclusion conference that Cork Pride held two years ago.

“One of the biggest pieces of feedback from the conference two years ago was that people didn’t want to wait another year to get together again,” explained chairman Damien O’Halloran. “A group of us then came up with the idea for Work With Pride so we could organise more regular events.”

Work With Pride will host a series of educational events throughout the year, including the ‘Work With Pride Diversity and Inclusion Conference’, to allow businesses to share their experiences and develop new strategies. In fact, one of the objectives of this initiative is to offer an opportunity for people to educate themselves on LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace and, for those who are not part of the community, to become more inclusive colleagues.

“Diversity, equality, and inclusion are big buzzwords now in the corporate and business world but there isn’t always real inclusion,” said O’Halloran. “This is a practical way of making a difference and connecting professionals,” he added.

The network has been meeting online since the pandemic started and it already has more than 110 members, which was a pleasant surprise for its creators.

“When we imagined this, we thought that we would probably be having a coffee around a table for our launch. Little did we think that we’d be throwing a big party for over 100 people,” chairman O’Halloran said “This is a historic milestone for LGBT+ business professionals, their allies, and the Irish business community.”

If you wish to know more about Work With Pride and the events organised by the LGBTQ+ professionals network, take a look at their website here.

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