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Workplaces and learning institutions can be difficult to navigate for LGBTQI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex). They often avoid making their sexual orientation or sexual identity known to others. Those who are open about their sexuality sometimes experience discrimination or see their career chances reduced. Companies and organizations have a responsibility to ensure equality among their staff or members.
Swiss LGBTI is a non-profit that champions diverse and inclusive culture in organizations. Each year, the Swiss LGBTI Label is awarded to companies and organizations with professional diversity and inclusion management. Many well-known institutions and companies have already received the label, including the UniversityHospital Zurich, the City of Zurich, ABB, Novartis and the Swiss Federal Railways SBB. UZH submitted its application last year.
The labels are awarded each year during Pride Month in June, when the LGBTI community acknowledge a positive stance against discrimination and violence.
Last week on Wednesday, the Swiss LGBTI labels were awarded to 18 organizations as part of an official ceremony in Zurich. Deputy President Gabriele Siegert accepted the label on behalf of UZH, which is the first university in Switzerland to receive this distinction. According to Siegert, applying for the label was an exciting process, and reflecting one’s own work culture is well worth the effort.
She pointed out that UZH also is also approaching the topic of equality from a scholarly angle. For example, the URPP Equality of Opportunity is examining the economic and social trends that lead to inequality.