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Sexual Discrimination at Work by Prof. Matteo Winkler

19 March 2015

Sexual orientation discrimination means being treated differently or harassed because of real or perceived sexual orientation – whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. Even though, this type of discrimination is illegal in the workplace, many employees and HR services have to face this problem. Matteo Winkler, professor of law at HEC Paris, specialist of international law and human rights gives us some insights and explains what the risks are for companies.



In this video, Matteo Winkler reveals some statistics about the extent of LGBT discrimination at work and more specifically during the recruitment process when only one third of gay male have the chance to be called back after a job interview. He also describes two types of discrimination that are recognized by the legislation, notably by the European Union directive, highlighting that legal tools are not powerful enough to protect employees from this kind of prejudice.

Recognizing the fact that companies who discriminate deprive their business of potential talents and skills,Matteo Winkler advocates the valorization of human talents by changing the motto from “We do not discriminate” to “We promote talents”. He makes some recommendations to increase the knowledge of firms’ internal ethical codes and their antidiscrimination rules.

Spreading a culture of LGBT rights inside firms would decrease litigation and, at the same time, trigger more openness and self-conscience at work. The individuals’ increased awareness of rights would permit antidiscrimination rules to be enforced without litigation (a virtuous circle).


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