Montreal Celebrates “Pride at Work” 7th Anniversary

By Luis Rondon Paz

HAVANA TIMES —The 7th anniversary of the “Pride at Work” organization was celebrated on Wednesday August 8th, at the Desjardins shopping complex located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, as part of the week’s program of activities for Gay Pride, This organization provides training to employers with the objective of encouraging their recognition of “LGBT” (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender”) employees, as an important part of society’s diverse and effective work force.

“This is a space to connect “LGBT” workers and their allied, in pursuit of creating a society with more inclusive working environments,” one of the businessmen present at this activity said.

He also added that “these kinds of events are vital for motivating “LGBT” workers who are still “in the closet” to come out and be themselves in their working environment, as by doing this, they can reach their maximum productive capacity, without being afraid of being offended because of their sexual orientation.

Martine Roy integrante de la Junta Directiva de Pride at Work en la Ceremonia de aniversario en la Plaza Desjardines.
Martine Roy, a member of the board of Pride at Work, addresses the gathering.

These words were confirmed by Martine Roy, a board member of “Pride at Work”, who told Havana Times that “today, this philosophy is now shared by over 80 national and regional partners, as well as by employers who are members of this organization and who support our mission, vision and values.”

Montreal is the city with the largest number of “LGBT” people in Canada who work in environments which respect their sexual orientation.

Canada’s “Pride at Work” organization was founded in 2008 by a group of volunteers with the vision of improving inclusivity for “LGBT” people in Canadian working environments.

Today, Canada is one of Cuba’s greatest trading partners and is the number one country where Cuba’s visitors come from. This could be a great opportunity for the Pride at Work organization to persuade their colleagues in Cuba, via their partners, to create working environments where Cuban LGBT people can work outside of the closet, without fear.

There has been a social campaign in Cuba to promote society’s acceptance of LGBTQ people for 8 years now, and there is a labor code that protects people from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation currently in force, but even so, the number of people who live in the closet at work is still very high.