‘Being Proud Isn’t Just for Pride’ – This week marked the launch of Certified Proud, an accreditation membership body that strives towards LGBTQ+ equality throughout businesses in Ireland, ensuring the safety of staff and comfort of customers, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Certified Proud is the product of Liam Redmond and Eve Kerton, who have made strides in both the advancement of the LGBTQ+ community and establishing successful start-ups in Ireland.
‘A couple of years ago, I found out I had potentially contracted HIV. I went to a doctor, and when he found out I would have gotten the virus from a man, he threw me out of his office,’ Liam says.
‘It was then when I realised that businesses need to be proactive in their support of, and visibility towards, the LGBTQ+ community. I don’t want anyone else to feel that way, plus – it makes perfect business sense!’
Member organisations pay a joining fee and sign an agreement to incorporate the ‘Certified Proud Principles’ into their company culture, promising a safe, equal, respectful and visibly inclusive environment all year – not just for the month of Pride.
Each member will be provided with guidelines on how to make their business more inclusive for customers and employees of the LGBTQ+ community. They will also receive training and networking opportunities throughout the year. Members can also apply to The Bród Awards – an annual celebration of the companies in Ireland who are doing their best to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Once per year, Certified Proud will conduct an audit of each member organisation by way of an online survey, for both staff and customers.
Each business will need to reach a satisfaction rate to remain Certified Proud under the current contract. If this is not met, a review will take place with the next steps to be actioned for improvement.
Member organisations of Certified Proud give back to the LGBTQ+ community by way of the membership fee, 40% of which will be donated to charities and projects dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in Ireland.