On April 14 2016, Micro Rainbow’s (MRI) Project Manager, Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, held a training for the European Union (EU) delegations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela on how to break down the barriers faced by LGBTI people to entering the formal labour market and how to create an inclusive work environment that respects sexual and gender diversity. The training was held in Brasilia, on the invitation of the EU, which funds Micro Rainbow’s Brazil Project1 in Rio de Janeiro.
Twenty-two Cooperation Officers from the above-mentioned delegations took part in the training, which was part of an internal regional seminar organized by the EU Cooperation for Development Section. This seminar aimed to assist these delegations to implement several of the EU’s action plans, including the Gender Action Plan 2016-20202. In this sense, Micro Rainbow’s training was highly relevant, as it addressed conceptual issues of gender and sexuality and explained to participants the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as key issues related to the LGBTI community in Brazil and worldwide.
“The training was really relevant to our work, as we support many projects with LGBTI issues in different parts of the world and we need to be more prepared to understand the demands of the LGBTI movement and expand our dialogue with activists and civil society organizations” said Thierry Dudermel, head of the EU Cooperation for Development Section in Brazil. Several EU officers present at the seminar congratulated MRI on the initiative and pointed out the need for promoting trainings like this in countries where they work.
Started in 2015, in partnership with Grupo Arco Iris, Positive Planet Brasil and other local NGOs, the Micro Rainbow Brazil Project aims to help LGBTI people to step out of poverty by encouraging entrepreneurship and employability. The project, which lasts 3 years, also aims to sensitize private companies and service providers on the socio-economic vulnerabilities to which the LGBTI community is exposed.
“We aim to expand employment opportunities for our beneficiaries and make the corporate environment more friendly for employees and customers of diverse sexual orientation/gender identity”, says Micro Rainbow’s Project Manager, Lucas Paoli, about the free trainings offered by the Micro Rainbow Brazil team in Rio de Janeiro.
The project coordinator, Clarisse Kalume, highlights some benefits of these trainings: “We hope to change negative social attitudes towards the LGBTI population, improving their access to and their permanence in the formal labour market. At the same time, we also hope to help employers to create a competitive advantage for their companies in management and costumer relations.”
HR experts claim that the more diverse a company is in cultural, social, ethnic, sexual and gender range –, the more skills and abilities are going to be incorporated in the work environment. Furthermore, a respectful environment towards sexual orientation at work directly reflects on productivity, a topic that is addressed by Micro Rainbow’s team in its interactive and dynamic trainings.