In a year when the pandemic has taken up so much of the Embassy’s agenda, 2020 has brought excellent news for Diversity and Inclusion in Santiago. After many years of continued work to make the Embassy a good place to work for LGBTI+ talent, on 4 December we proudly received the Advancing LBGTI+ Inclusion Award, a recognition given by the UK Civil Service to showcase the best outcomes in the Civil Service’s aspiration to attract greater diversity and be the most inclusive employer.
Out of 297 nominations in 12 categories, the Embassy won the D&I Civil Service Award for having received the “EquidadCL Certification” in July 2020 , a local recognition that placed the Embassy in Santiago among the twenty best employers in Chile for LGBTI+ talent. This, in turn, allowed the Embassy to become the first diplomatic mission and public sector employer in Chile, and the only British Embassy in the region, to receive accreditation as a workplace committed to LGBTI+ inclusion.
The “Equidad CL Certification” is given each year by Fundación Iguales (one of the leading organisation for LGBTI+ rights in Chile), Pride Connection Chile (a business network that promotes inclusive workplaces) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC; one of the Americas largest LGBTI+ civil rights organisations).
In 2020, a total of 63 companies and organisations participated in the certification process and were assessed in three core areas of LGBTI+ inclusion: adoption of non-discriminatory policies; the creation of employee resource groups/diversity and inclusion committees; and engagement in public activities supporting LGBTI+ inclusion. And the Embassy scored well in all those key areas.
UK Civil Service Awards
On its part, the UK Civil Service awards showcase the strong public service ethos of civil servants all across the Government departments in tackling demanding and important issues with innovative solutions, through collaboration and effective actions, to produce real impact for the people both in the UK and abroad. In this context, the Embassy’s efforts working with the LGBTI+ community in Chile put into action the UK’s wider commitment to make equality a reality for LGBTI+ people the world over.
Receiving the Civil Service Award was a recognition to the Embassy pulling together its public diplomacy, corporate policies, learning and development, and local outreach, to transform them into a strategic effort, working towards contributing to eradicating discrimination and setting a standard for LGBTI+ inclusion in Chile for the public and private sector alike.
The work ahead
From the first time our Embassy flew the rainbow flag above its building in 2012, becoming the first foreign mission to do so in Chile, until 2020 when we flew the transgender flag to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance, our team in Santiago has worked permanently to make the Embassy a good place to work for LBGTI+ talent and to advocate for the protection and promotion of LGBTI+ rights and values at a local level.
What about the future? Our Embassy is committed to continue demonstrating what can be achieved through a truly inclusive workplace that celebrates diversity, and we hope that other British Embassies around the world can get a similar certification to make our organisation a better place to work for all.