International day of tolerance – speed up inclusive leadership

On this International Day for Tolerance, as well as the start of the European Disability Employment Week, CEC European Managers underlines the responsibility of managers in creating tolerant and open workplaces. Beyond legal compliance, managers have all incentives from reaping the innovation and well-being benefits from practicing inclusive leadership and diversifying the workforce. Inclusive social dialogue is particularly relevant to ensure participation of diverse groups.

While progress in the EU was made towards LGBTIQ equality over the past years, discrimination against LGBTIQ people persists with 43% feeling discriminated. Against that background, the European Commission will launch a Strategy on LGBTIQ equality. The strategy will review the application of the EU Employment Equality Directive, extend the list of ‘EU crimes’ to include hate crime and hate speech, protect the right of rainbow families and promote LGBTIQ rights outside of the EU territory.

When it comes to people with disabilities, whose various forms affect up to one fifth of the EU population, the EU had adopted the European accessibility act in 2019. This directive aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services, by removing barriers created by divergent rules in Member States. An EU study on people with disabilities in the labour market shows that they face low employment rates, a high dependency on benefits as well as increased poverty risk.

CEC European Managers underlines the importance for managers to take responsibility for creating truly tolerant, non-discriminatory and diverse workforces. Beyond being a human rights question, many studies have shown the economic benefits from having a diverse and inclusive work culture, including innovation, customer diversification and companies’ public image. When it comes to diversity within management, more information is needed to study its diversity, particularly when it comes to LGBTIQ and people with disabilities.