Championing inclusion of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities

The LGBT+ and Friends group came together in August 2016 to improve diversity and inclusion of LGBT identities at the CIPD.

CIPD employees from a diverse set of backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions have joined the group, including allies who are crucial in driving organisational transformation and change. They are investing their time and expertise to champion the work of the LGBT+ core committee and further develop the group's impact.

The group was since then opened to our volunteers and our members scaling our voice and influence to support other organisations and the membership at large to explore what good practice looks like around LGBT+ equality and inclusion as well as exploring ways of creating belonging at work. If you want to join us just contact the group at

We've partnered with Stonewall and enei (employers’ network for equality and inclusion) for their expertise, guidance and support on this topic and leapt more than 200 places in the Stonewall Equality Index between 2018 and 2019 submissions. Our ambition is to reach the top 100 and be positioned as one of the leading organisations in practice, guidance and voice on LGBT+ inclusion within the UK.

Our purpose and aims

Our purpose is to champion diversity and inclusion of LGBT+ people at work – within our own organisation and amongst the membership of the CIPD.

We're here to:

  1. Meet up regularly to debate and promote good practice around LGBT+ equality and inclusion.
  2. Provide a social space for CIPD employees, volunteers and members to discuss issues and concerns about being open about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
  3. Partner with other organisations to learn what good practice looks like and support CIPD members in promoting LGBT+ inclusion in their own workplaces.
  4. Identify and communicate best practice around tackling discrimination, bullying and harassment.
  5. Raise our voice as a champion for LGBT+ inclusion through presence and representation at internal and external events.

Everyone at the CIPD is welcome to be part of the group and get involved in the discussion. Just reach out to us at

The group bring together a mix of employees, volunteers and members as well as straight allies and friends all under a joint purpose of creating more inclusive workplaces for LGBT+ people. Since its formation, the network is led by two strong advocates of LGBT equality and inclusion:

  • Ciprian Arhire,Assoc CIPD – Co-chair of the LGBT+ Network, and Projects and Programmes Executive at the CIPD
  • Edward Houghton – Co-chair of the LGBT+ Network, and Head of Research and Thought Leadership at the CIPD

We’re grateful to be enabled and empowered by a full network of people passionate about the topic of LGBT+ equality and inclusion, as well as keen to explore intersectionalities and supporting of the wider D&I agenda.

The network benefits from senior sponsorship and support from David D’Souza, Membership Director at the CIPD who champions the voice of the group and is an expert on workplace issues and good practice within the HR and D&I field. Together we’re influencing and driving the D&I agenda at the CIPD within the steering group chaired by Brad Taylor, People and OD Director, who shares our passion and commitment to the LGBT+ equality and inclusion agenda.

As the group expands, we learn more and, as the work we’re doing internally and externally on the LGBT+ equality and inclusion agenda matures, we’re focusing on three areas of priority. We want the CIPD to:

  1. Have a strong and informed voice on LGBT+ workplace issues – where our internal and external engagement positions us as a place to go to for advice around D&I and LGBT+ inclusion.
  2. Provide a social network and support for LGBT+ people and allies – where our extensive LGBT+ and Friends network includes staff, volunteers and members in support of creating global diversity champions.
  3. Ensure CIPD policies, practices and culture are one of the most inclusive towards LGBT+ people – where we can say without a doubt and with practical evidence that we’re one of the most inclusive organisations for LGBT+ people and we’re recognised externally for our good practice.

Join us on our journey to transform the people profession into global diversity champions, changing hearts and minds and shifting organisations to create true inclusion and belonging for everyone!

We explain more about the LGBT group:

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Working with us

Our success relies on the expertise and commitment of a wide range of staff, volunteers and associates

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