Role models: being yourself: sexual orientation and the workplace

Document type
Bostock, Jo
Date of publication
1 January 2012
Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

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Gay staff report that they would prefer to direct all their energy to productive use by focussing on their performance, completing tasks or enhancing their work-related relationships. The visibility of successful lesbian, gay and bisexual role models makes a broader point to colleagues, both heterosexual and gay, about the value and importance of being open about differences. Role models provide clear evidence that being who you are, more often and as effectively as possible, is a good thing. Their careers show the benefit of being able to focus energy and attention on performing well and using their talents. They offer a compelling case for the value of authenticity by demonstrating that some of the risks associated with people being themselves are worth taking.

Seeing visible lesbian, gay and bisexual role models living a range of successful and interesting professional lives demonstrates the value of authenticity to all staff, heterosexual and gay. They demonstrate that difference is both possible and, ultimately, a significant advantage in the workplace. For any organisation wanting to attract, retain, develop and release the full potential of its talent, the stories and interviews included in this publication evidence the power of authentic leadership from a range of perspectives, sectors and experiences.

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