Twin brothers who both experienced homophobia in the workplace have created a business community for LGBT+ professionals.
Adrien and Pierre Gaubert, who are both gay, launched the platform – which they refer to as the ‘pink LinkedIn’ because they wanted to create a safe space and better inclusion in corporate sectors.
The launch of myGwork also came about after the twins’ mother sadly passed away. She was an inspiration for them both.
‘She was someone we held so dear and she was the person we went to when we both experienced discrimination in the world and in the workplace,’ Adrien tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Her concern was that other people’s prejudices would prevent us from finding work that was fulfilling, meaningful, and long-lasting and so we decided that we would be part of the solution.
‘So, myGwork was born out of discrimination, a heartbreaking loss, and a desire to be part of the change.’
The global platform is dedicated to LGBT+ professional and student outreach. Their aim is to to empower the LGBT+ community by offering members a space to connect with inclusive employers, find jobs, mentors, professional events and news.
Before starting myGwork, Pierre was working for a software company in Madrid and Adrien worked in international politics based in China. They say that both of their experiences were negative in terms of LGBTQ+ inclusion.
‘In the workplace, Pierre and I experienced sexual harassment, homophobic jokes, stereotypical attitudes about our “lifestyle” and just a general disregard for our life experiences, our feelings and our professional experiences,’ says Adrien.
‘And so we sat down one day and asked each other what the solution looked like. How could we create a space where LGBTQ people and our professional expertise was centred, and where employers committed to getting it right could find us?’
The pair say that here in the UK we have come on leaps and bounds in regards to inclusion in the workplace.
‘It’s the result of a lot of bravery, hard work, and persistent demands to be taken seriously,’ Adrien adds.
But, he admits, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done to bring us closer to real equality and inclusion.
‘We have a long way to go, both at myGwork and within professional spaces more widely,’ says Adrien. ‘We recognise that we are two gay men at the helm of this organisation that promotes workplace inclusion and that we ourselves have to always be learning and growing and challenging our ideas, our thoughts and our actions.
‘We’re actively working to create more space for trans people, disabled people, Black people, and people of colour.
‘Our hope is that, as we continue creating a professional platform reflective of the diversity in the actual LGBTQ community, that our corporate partners will have fewer excuses for not doing inclusion properly.’
A third of LGBT+ people report experiencing harassment or bullying at work.
A study of more than 15,000 workers found that 40% of LGB+ employees and 55% of trans workers experienced conflict in the workplace over the last 12 months, compared to just three in 10 heterosexual and cisgender employees.
‘Platforms like myGwork, which are led and run by LGBTQ people from varied and diverse experiences and backgrounds, offer an opportunity for those most impacted by discrimination in the workplace to help shape what workplaces of the future should look like,’ says Adrien.
‘Many organisations have the desire to get it right, to be more inclusive, but they’re not quite sure how.
‘Don’t get me wrong, a lot of mistakes are being made all the time, but platforms like myGwork – and conferences like WorkPride – offer an opportunity to get it right: to listen, to think, and then act.‘
myGwork currently receives 28 000 applications every month. Leading publishing company Pearson reported that they recruited 250 colleagues from all over the world in just the first six months of their partnership.
Numerous studies have shown the positive impact that inclusion has on the bottom line of organisations. Adrien says it is no secret that workplaces with more diverse employees perform better in lots of different ways.
‘But more than that, and what we try to reiterate, is that inclusion is the right thing to do,’ he says.
‘If people really want the best person for the job, as they say they do, they’ll expand their search to include people they might not normally attract.
‘And when they do that, they actually find those who drive their business forward, who innovate, who attract even better talent, and who help shape the companies of the future. It’s so evident to us that the workplaces of the future will look nothing like they do now.’
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