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BHB embraces diversity with rainbow flags

Bermuda's second-largest employer has used rainbow flags to celebrate diversity and show its commitment to treating everyone with dignity and respect.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board said it supported LGBTQI+ staff and patients and had launched a policy to “stand against harassment, bullying and incivility”.

And the Commissioner of Police has revealed he is in talks with Stonewall, a leading advocacy group in the UK, to find ways to make the BPS an inclusive employer for members of the gay community.

A BHB spokeswoman said yesterday: “It was requested by staff and approved by the executive team and board that we would put up a flag in our lobbies in support of our staff and patients in the LGBTQI+ community, as they are part of our BHB family and our commitment is to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

“This was an opportunity for us to state that we want BHB to be a safe place for everyone to work and seek care.”

According to a fact sheet on the organisation's website, the BHB is Bermuda's second largest employer with almost 1,800 staff.

A sign that accompanied one of the flags said it was hung “in celebration of diversity and in support of our LGBTQI+ patients and staff”.

It added: “Earlier this year BHB instituted a policy to make a stand against harassment, bullying and incivility.

“This policy stresses the importance of all staff being respectful to each other and to all members of the public.

“Hanging the rainbow flag is in line with BHB's vision — exceptional care, strong partnerships, healthy community.”

Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, said he was “delighted” to hear from Stonewall's head of global partnerships, who indicated the charity's willingness to work with the BPS.

Mr Corbishley explained: “Stonewall have a strong and exceptional history of assisting employers build inclusive workplaces.

“I am committed to ensuring that the BPS attracts the very best talent in Bermuda from the LGBTQI community and work in an environment that embraces diversity and does not tolerate discrimination.

“Difference is what makes us reflective of our communities, whether it be through gender, ethnicity, religious belief or sexual orientation.

“It is also key to ensuring that when victims, witnesses or the general public need our services we are ready and equipped to understand, respond and care for their individual needs.”

Stonewall's website explained that its mission is to let all LGBT people in the UK and overseas “know they're not alone”.

It said: “We believe we're stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better.”

The website added: “The best employers understand the need to take inclusivity seriously.

“They understand that staff should be able to bring their whole self to work.

“They understand inclusion drives better individual, business and organisational outcomes.”

The island's largest employer is the Government of Bermuda.

MPs heard in the House of Assembly last year that 4,630 people were employed in the public service as at September 30, 2018.

A rainbow flag and accompanying sign in one of the Bermuda Hospital Board's lobbies (Photograph supplied)

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Published August 31, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated August 31, 2019 at 8:56 am)

BHB embraces diversity with rainbow flags

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