FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY DOES DIVERSITY MATTER?
Diversity matters for several reasons but the main two for a business, are that: (a) from a purely commercial perspective, studies (including by the likes of Mckinsey and Accenture) have shown that more diverse companies perform better financially. A more diverse workforce provides wider perspective, a greater range of experience and a better understanding of a broader customer base; and (b) from a social and performance perspective, we believe that a company should hire and maintain its workforce and customer base according to quality not external characteristics. As such, hiring, promotions and treatment should be non-discriminatory and as diverse as the talent pool, ensuring that employees can feel comfortable to offer their best performance irrespective of personal attributes.
WHAT DOES DIVERSITY MEAN?
Diversity represents the fact that people come from different backgrounds, have different abilities and differing personal situations. These differences include gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation and other categories. Sometimes, these differences are visible and other times, they may not be. Adopting inclusive diversity practices allows an organization to leverage these differences for its commercial benefit, whilst ensuring a fair, comfortable and productive environment for all to thrive in.
WHY FOCUS JUST ON LGBT+ PEOPLE?
The IDS is not intended to limit an organization’s determination to ensuring equality for all groups and we would openly encourage each organization to apply similar policies for other minorities. That having been said, LGBT+ people are often left unprotected by law and we believe, have a significant contribution to make. Often, organizations and their people may not be aware of some of the challenges faced both generally and in the workplace, by LGBT+ people and the IDS seeks to provide resources to deal with these issues as well as to facilitate the creation of encouraging workplace settings where LGBT+ people can flourish.
LGBT+ PEOPLE FACE NO ISSUES IN OUR ORGANIZATION - WHY DO WE NEED THE IDS?
We hope you are right, though there may be room for improvement. Gay men are more commonly seen as role models in senior positions (though perhaps still not all that often), however lesbian, bi and trans people are much less frequently celebrated for their senior positions. Israeli government-sponsored research has found that 44% of LGBT+ people earn significantly below the market average, 47% of LGBT+ people don't work in their field of training, 43% of LGBT+ people have been the butt of a joke at work due to their sexual orientation, 37% of transgendered employees have been sexually harassed at work, 54% of LGBT+ people experience discrimination at work and 37% of LGBT+ people experience discrimination during interviews.
The good news is that 80% of LGBT+ people consider policies as an important factor in choosing their workplace, there is a 32% increase in productivity from LGBT+ employees who are out of the closet and 86% of small business owners confirm that non-discrimination policies cost nothing or next to nothing. The IDS aims to help your organization push the boundaries for the benefit of your (current and future) LGBT+ colleagues as well as the organization as a whole.
WHY SHOULD MANAGEMENT CARE ABOUT THE IDS?
In addition to the social impact and benefit of supporting the LGBT+ community (and other minorities), literally thousands of companies, including some of the biggest and most successful ones in the world, focus on diversity and inclusion and note the vast potential commercial value it has to their organizations. The IDS should be a source of pride for an organization; a demonstration of the value it places on supporting all of its workforce and its customer base.
WHAT DOES THE ORGANIZATION RECEIVE AFTER SIGNING UP TO THE IDS?
As well as featuring on our website, all signatories will have access to IDS volunteers and receive support in implementing the aims of the IDS. In addition, we are working to provide organizations with certain free or discounted training, ranging from legal training to organizational consulting - each as may be required or desired. Over time, our resource library and connections to partner organizations will provide helpful information and the IDS will serve to connect companies with talent and other supportive companies.
WHO DECIDES IF OUR ORGANIZATION COMPLIES WITH THE IDS?
The IDS currently adopts a self-assessment system. We believe that an organization’s willingness to declare its support for the Statement of Principles is already an important step in demonstrating compliance and can have a positive impact in encouraging others to adopt the principles we encourage. As the IDS grows, and as member contributions and other grants and sponsorship allow, the IDS will extend its activities, enabling us better to assess and rank compliance, awarding our most determined members with the recognition they deserve.
IF OUR ORGANIZATION MEETS THE IDS, CAN WE USE THIS IN OUR PR?
Yes! We want organizations to be proud of meeting the IDS and to help spread the message of the positive impact which supporting LGBT+ rights can have both financially and socially. The IDS website will feature all member organizations.
CAN THE IDS TEAM PUT ME IN TOUCH WITH CHAMPIONS FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS?
The simple answer is yes. Tell us what you are looking for and we will try to help by connecting you to the right people.
DOES ADOPTING THE IDS OPEN MY COMPANY UP TO ADDITIONAL LEGAL VULNERABILITIES?
No. Adopting the IDS principles is voluntary and does not create legal liabilities. Any changes to organizational policies will be at the discretion of each organization and for so long as such policies comply with the Statement of Principles, membership will be maintained and encouraged.
MY ORGANIZATION IS CONSERVATIVE AND SLOW TO CHANGE - IS THE IDS STILL RELEVANT?
Absolutely. The IDS does not necessitate radical changes and indeed, even small steps can have a massive impact on making LGBT+ people (and other minorities) feel valued and motivated.
THERE ARE NO LGBT+ PEOPLE IN MY ORGANIZATION - IS THE IDS STILL RELEVANT?
Allies (even when not directly affected by LGBT+ issues) can be crucial advocates for change and support. In addition, there may be LGBT+ people in your organization who do not feel comfortable revealing that they are LGBT+. Irrespective, even if there really are no LGBT+ people, this may be an indication that your recruitment and other policies do not support LGBT+ people and as such, you may be missing out on invaluable talent and perspectives that could help your organization to prosper, not to mention the fact that your clients and business partners may be affected by LGBT+ issues and appreciate seeing your support.
HOW MUCH DOES MEMBERSHIP OF THE IDS COST?
The IDS is a volunteer-run organization and operated on a fully non-profit basis. All membership fees go towards to supporting our activities and encouraging the Israeli business community to implement our principles and the cost depends on the size of your organization. Please contact a member of the team to find out how much the membership will cost your organization. Larger sponsorship from organizations that would like to help support our activities will be gratefully received and we would be happy to discuss sponsorship opportunities in this regard.
HOW CAN OUR ORGANIZATION HELP NON-FINANCIALLY?
The IDS team is building up a library of best-practices and training. All members are encouraged to assist in the creation of training or sample policies that can benefit the wider membership. Please speak to a member of the IDS team if this is of interest.