Published on in Responsible BusinessReshaping Business

Today I am prouder than ever to say I work for Fujitsu.

As a senior leader I have the opportunity to be involved in, and champion, a number of Responsible Business initiatives and it is always inspiring to see the impact they are making.

Startling statistics from Stonewall indicate that 35% of LGBT+ employees throughout organisations in the UK, hide that they are LGBT+ in the workplace for fear of discrimination. This statistic, unfortunately, re-affirms that we still have not achieved inclusion in the workplace and as business leaders, we cannot be comfortable with that situation.

LGBT+ inclusion is not an issue that can be fixed instantly; it is something we must all strive towards achieving over time.

Fujitsu has been on this journey for many years and in the past 12 months has become the first Japanese company to publicly express support for the UN LGBTI business standards. And today, I can proudly announce that Fujitsu has placed 34th in the 2019 Stonewall Top 100 Employer List for LGBT+ inclusion.

This is our fourth consecutive year in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employer list, climbing 66 spaces in 2019 to our highest ever ranking of 34th.

I’m proud of this achievement because over the past couple of years, an inclusion spotlight has been put on the tech sector – this is something I welcome as a LGBT+ ally and the executive sponsor of Shine, our LGBT+ Network.

But why is LGBT+ inclusion in the tech industry important?

Fujitsu believes that the online world and automation, including robotics and Artificial Intelligence, will have the biggest impact on businesses by 2030. Tech will influence our healthcare and education systems and will help to preserve and improve quality of life through urbanisation. In a short answer, tech influences everything.

For us to create tech solutions which are inclusive and empowers the LGBT+ community, we need to create inclusive workplaces where LGBT+ talent can be completely themselves in work and ultimately thrive. We also need to ensure that the systems we design are inclusive and do not unintentionally embed conscious or unconscious biases. To achieve this goal we need to ensure that diversity and inclusion is top priority for our workforce and is enabled by inclusive environments for all our people.

Our Shine LGBT+ Network has been pivotal in shaping and implementing a strategy enabling us to create this environment and I want to thank everyone involved. Through the hard work of Network members, we are raising awareness of LGBT+ issues and shaping more inclusive processes, especially in Recruitment and Procurement. We are engaging allies to take part in our LGBT+ initiatives, having recently launched a reverse mentoring scheme. This inclusive approach has resulted in other senior leaders and allies championing LGBT+ initiatives and celebrating important dates such as International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

The impact of an inclusive environment means our employees who identify as trans intend to stay with us longer than non-trans employees and employees who identify as LGB are more likely to say there are good opportunities to achieve their personal career objectives at Fujitsu compared with straight employees. These statistics demonstrate the positive influence one organisation can have on driving LGBT+ inclusion.

By highlighting the importance of LGBT+ inclusion in the tech sector and taking actions to create an inclusive environment, we hope to encourage other organisations to ensure that everyone can be completely themselves at work, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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