HR Hartley

The British Council is officially the most gay-friendly organisation in the UK. Now being an old-fashioned type, I thought this meant that it was rewarding staff for spreading happiness and joy. I was a little astounded to hear what it really meant.

The British Council has topped the first Corporate Equality Index, showcasing the country’s top 100 employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

Employers were ranked according to criteria ranging from the implementation of an effective equalities policy to having openly gay staff on their board of directors.

Before people start calling me a bigot and throwing rotten fruit at me, let me explain why I was shocked by the announcement.
I’m led to believe this is 2005. Let me repeat that: 2005.

Even for a fogey like me, someone’s sexuality really isn’t an issue these days. And even if it was, surely highlighting it and creating support groups only reinforces the notion that there’s something different about gay people?

I’d question who really stands to gain from these support groups. Are they for gay people intent on sharing experiences or are they for companies who are terribly keen to push their corporate social responsibility agendas? It’s big business these days, don’t you know. And businesses will trample all over you in a bid to prove how friendly they are.

If you complain that I’m too cynical, maybe you should come to my company’s Cynics Support Group and we can discuss it.

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