LGBTIQ Workplace Equality Programme is implemented with the aim of creating a safe and accepting environment for LGBTIQ+ employees and employment seekers in Croatia through the implementation of evaluation and educational models and tools, knowledge exchange and encouraging cooperation between civil society organizations, unions and employers as well as relevant institutions.
The programme was launched in 2015 by Croatian NGOs Expanse of Gender and Media Culture – Common Zone, Lesbian Organization Rijeka “LORI”, Organization for Workers’ Initiative and Democratization – OWID and NGO Dawn. In the next few years we extensively worked with volunteers to educate and foster greater participation of the student population in the work of NGOs working in the field of labour rights and human rights of the LGBTIQ people. During this period, we also conducted two surveys, one among LGBTIQ employees and the other among employers, in order to gain a better insight into the state of rights and working conditions of LGBTIQ workers and job seekers in Croatia. The results of the research have shown a rather alarming situation in Croatia, where over 75% of LGBTQ workers and job seekers have experienced some form of discrimination, harassment and / or abuse in the workplace or when seeking employment.
To help the LGBTIQ community with legal issues in the field of work and employment, we have launched a free legal aid, through a website.
In order to stimulate discussion on this topic in the public space, we organized several public events – round tables, panels and a conference – through which we expanded the network of collaborators and gained new allies.
In 2017, we launched the first Croatian Workplace Equality Index, in the development of which we were assisted by two established organizations – RFSL from Sweden and Stonewall from the UK, through education and consulting.
The Workplace Equality Index is an essential instrument by which organizations can measure their performance and success in reducing discrimination based on sexual orientation and / or gender identity and expression and creating an inclusive workplace environment. As an evaluation framework for policies and practices within the organization and organizational culture on workplace equality and inclusion, it is a valuable document for the employer, employees and the community as a whole.
In order to sensitize the public and encourage employers to participate in the Index, we launched a national campaign – our videos were broadcast on television, and in larger cities in Croatia, passers-by could see our billboards and city lights.
We also sent an invitation to participate in the Index to 5,000 employers in Croatia, of which 95 participated in the benchmark, mostly from the non-profit and public sector.