Publiceret: 19.08.2016Af Laura Flader mail
From Tuesday, 16 August to Saturday, 20 August, a digital rainbow flag will be on display on City Hall Square in Copenhagen.
During this period, City Hall Square will not only be lit by the yellowish light of the streetlamps. The lights covering the Confederation of Danish Industry’s headquarters will be lit up in the colours of the rainbow flag to signal that diversity is important to Danish business.
“We are celebrating diversity and we want to show that Danish businesses are aware of how important diversity is in the workplace,” says Deputy Director Charlotte Rønhof from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Read more: Copenhagen Pride 2016 - official site
The Confederation of Danish Industry runs a call centre offering legal advice and assistance to any business or employee experiencing problems of discrimination in the workplace.
Over the past ten years, only one case of discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender has been brought. That case involved a transgender person who did not want to observe the company dress code.
“The fact that no cases have been brought in this area is very positive, but it is still important to signal to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that members of the Confederation of Danish Industry accept everybody. If we create a space for openness and respect in every workplace, we ensure a good working environment for all employees – and satisfied employees help to create value in any business,” says Charlotte Rønhof.
According to LGBT Denmark, which is the national association for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Denmark, this absence of cases may, however, indicate a hidden problem.
They believe that discrimination of the LGBT community is still a problem in Denmark as many of their members do not feel sufficiently comfortable to be open about their sexuality in the workplace.
“It may be that the Confederation of Danish Industry has not had any cases, but the latest survey on the LGBT community in Danish workplaces shows that 45% of LGBT people are not open about their sexuality,” says Anders Bernhoft, press officer at LGBT Denmark.
According to Anders Bernhoft, being LGBT is something that needs to become easier – this can be done by talking about things and recognising that discrimination is a problem that has to be solved.
“As long as we experience discrimination, it is very important that the Confederation of Danish Industry supports this initiative. It signals that many more people are fighting for this cause,” says Anders Bernhoft.
The Confederation of Danish Industry’s façade lighting to celebrate Copenhagen Pride is only a small part of the organisation’s efforts to promote diversity. Most recently, the Confederation of Danish Industry introduced a sounding board for diversity comprising a range of Danish companies, including IBM, Arriva and Danish Crown.
“The aim of the sounding board is to gather a circle of our members and continuously monitor what they are doing in their diversity work in a wider context. This provides important input for the Confederation of Danish Industry in this area. The sounding board is also designed to work as a forum for our members to exchange experiences and discuss their activities,” says Deputy Director Charlotte Rønhof of the Confederation of Danish Industry.
She points out that the Confederation of Danish Industry works to promote diversity because a diverse range of employees can contribute to company growth.
“Diversity can increase productivity as employees who are happy often perform better. A diverse group of employees is also able to contribute to increased innovation by bringing a range of different perspectives to the table,” says Charlotte Rønhof.
Diversity is also able to provide insight into new customer segments and markets as well as being good for company branding in terms of attracting and retaining employees. By reflecting, embracing and promoting diversity, businesses are able to strengthen their brand as a workplace.
“Having different employees who possess knowledge about a range of environments, cultures, countries and nationalities provides an enhanced insight into new customer groups,” says Charlotte Rønhof.
This year’s Copenhagen Pride concludes on Saturday with a parade through the city. Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Danish Industry Kim Graugaard will be among the participants.