In Switzerland, companies can apply for an LGBTI label. An award that must also be lived.
In 2019, the Zürcher Kantonalbank was one of the first companies to acquire the “Swiss LGBTI label”. It is intended to identify companies that work for employees whose sexual orientation differs from the majority of the population.
What does LGBTI stand for?
The English abbreviation stands for:
Lesbian (= lesbian)
Gay (= gay)
Bisexual (= bisexual)
Trans (= transgender, transident)
Intersex (= intersex)
LGBTI unites people who do not see themselves as belonging to the majority of society in terms of their identity or sexual orientation.
“We treat each other with great respect and appreciation – regardless of gender and sexual orientation. That also includes people with disabilities,” says Ann-Kathrin Greutmann, who is responsible for diversity and inclusion at Zürcher Kantonalbank. “The label gave us impetus to shed light on this topic again.”
Beat Steinmann is head of the contact point for the LGBTI label, which is now worn by more than 60 Swiss companies. The label was founded by Wybernet, the lesbian business network, and Network, the network for gay executives.
Only a few of the interested companies do not receive the label
In order to be awarded the label, a fee of CHF 3,000 is due for companies with more than 250 employees. The company must prove that tolerance and equality are anchored in it – for example by means of an equality office that employees can turn to.
Many a company wants more than it can afford. Beat Steinmann says: “Of those who actually have a contract (editor’s note: to check LGBTI friendliness within the company) with us, a maximum of 15 percent do not receive the label.” He thinks that’s okay. After all, that way you know what goal you are working towards.
Labels are always a snapshot.
Personnel management expert Matthias Mölleney also appreciates that the label stimulates discussions. But he points out: “Labels always have the problem that they take a snapshot and that they can measure things like instruments, processes or procedures. But they don’t measure the attitude behind it. But that’s the important thing.”
For this reason, the label must be applied for again every three years. In order to receive the «relabelling», the company must be able to demonstrate an improvement.
Potential for improvement in rainbow families
At ZKB, too, people are aware that further development is key. The bank already received the first “relabelling” this year and plans to apply for this again in three years.
Ann-Kathrin Greutmann from the ZKB says: “The LGBTI topic is not just about lesbian women or gay men. The issue is much bigger. Expanding the focus here and, for example, looking at rainbow families – I still see potential for improvement there.”