Welcome to the ninth installment in the ongoing Local Diversity and Inclusion Spotlight series. In these blog posts, we’ll be exploring how various countries around the world address diversity and inclusion in their culture and workplace.
Our newest spotlight country? Ireland, a country that celebrates the “Proclamation of the Irish Republic” in April.
Here are some things to know about diversity and inclusion in Ireland.
Note: Information is excerpted from GlobeSmart Culture Guides.
Women are active participants in the workforce and well represented in government.
Women are well represented in Ireland in both government and business. The Irish parliament has a significant number of female members. In the business realm, Irish women find few barriers to entry.
Ireland joined the European Community in 1973, and the influence of the European Union is credited with helping Irish women make gains towards equality with their male counterparts. As late as the 1980s, the most viable career options for women were teaching, nursing, and secretarial work. College was only suggested for “high achievers.” However, according to the World Economic Forum, there is complete equality in terms of education, and women are very well represented in the workforce.
Same-sex marriages are recognized in Ireland, and the law provides for same-sex civil partnerships.
The legality of same-sex marriage was voted on in a national referendum in May 2015. The measure passed, making the Republic of Ireland the first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.
Same-sex civil partnerships have been recognized in the country since the passage of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act in 2010, going into effect in January 2011. The act gives “the same or similar rights and obligations” to civil partnerships as are given to marriages. In addition, the Act recognizes same-sex marriages and civil partnerships made in foreign countries. Couples married abroad have the same rights as Irish same-sex civil partnerships.
Same-sex couples may adopt children together.
In 2015, the government revised the Children and Family Relationships Bill to allow adoption rights to cohabitating couples and those in recognized marriages and civil partnerships. Married same-sex couples are allowed joint adoption rights and step-child adoption.
Transgender individuals may change their name and gender on official documents.
Transgender people have the right to change their name to reflect their gender identity. They can also self-declare their gender on official documents.
Irish law protects LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace and in education, housing, use of services, and the buying and selling of goods.
Ireland has enacted the Employment Equality Act 1998 (amended by the Equality Act 2004) to address discrimination in the workplace. This act specifically covers workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Equal Status Act 2000 (amended by the Equality Act 2004) includes specific language to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. This act covers the buying and selling of goods, use of services, housing, and education.
Ireland is an inclusive and tolerant society. Dublin has the largest LGBT Community.
Ireland is considered to be an inclusive and tolerant society. While it is still a somewhat conservative and religious country, Irish people are generally very accepting of LGBT individuals. In 2017, Ireland elected the first openly gay Taoiseach (prime minister), Leo Varadkar.
The largest gay community is found in Dublin. The Gay Community News (GNC) is a monthly magazine featuring comprehensive information for LGBT news, venues, and events in Ireland. Dublin is host to a wide range of LGBT events, including the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Dublin International LGBTQ Pride, and the Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Galway, Cork, and Waterford also have active gay communities.
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