The summer pride season has come to a close and Canadians have a lot to be proud of. Across the country, people have come together to celebrate diversity and equality in their towns and cities. Teamsters 362 did so in Calgary with an incredible float at the Calgary Pride Parade where thousands attended. We were proud to do this because we believe in supporting diversity inside and outside of the workplace.
This is why we were happy to see the study showing that Canada has made it into the list of the top 20 countries in the world that are best for LGBTQ workers.
The study from Silver Swan Recruitment scored countries on the following factors – LGBT laws and rights, LGBT employment laws, minimum wage, unemployment rate, average salary and LGBT – friendliness.
Luxemburg was rated as the number one country on the list. Australia, New Zealand, Monaco, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom were listed in the top 10. Canada came in at number 18 and tied with Sweden for the most LGBT-friendly. Our neighbours to the south were listed at 52, while Syria, Afghanistan and Kenya rounded out the bottom of the list.
Canada should be proud of this ranking, but we still have work to do. While there have been legislative changes, the day-to-day experience of the LGBTQ2S workers still includes obstacles, stigma, bias and bullying.
A study of LGBT Canadians from last year found that while the community feels generally accepted among their families and friends, almost 75 per cent reported that they’ve been bullied at some point in their life.
What is especially troubling is that of those who said they were discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, 40 per cent said the discrimination occurred at their workplace.
Unions have a long history of supporting LGBTQ2S rights and continue to do so both inside and outside of the workplace.
The Teamsters union is proud to have an LGBTQ Caucus with a goal to unify, educate and empower Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the workforce at large and ‘to ensure equality in the workplace and to enhance workers’ power at the bargaining table, in organizing campaigns, and in the political arena.’
Teamsters 362 is proud to fight for equality and diversity for all workplaces and we plan to continue to help. We hope that one day Canada will reach number one on the list of countries that are best for LGBTQ workers.