‘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.
‘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.