The Romanian legal system is not ready to accommodate LGBTQ+ workplace wellbeing

Deniza Cristian 30/05/2022 | 15:44

The Romanian legal context creates an unfair and insecure environment for same-sex families. Romanian law specifically prohibits same-sex marriage in Romania and also does not recognizes same-sex marriages registered in other countries.

 

For an LGBTIQ+ employee, it is impossible to co-insure the life partner in the public health insurance system, it is impossible to be recognized as a legal partner in case of illness and death, it is impossible to legally inherit common goods. This is one of the conclusions from the LGBTQ+ at Work in Romania event, hosted by the Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce. The event, organised in partnership with the French Institute in Romania and ACCEPT, aimed to promote social change in the local and regional business environments, while shining a light on current issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace.

Romania’s failure to recognize equal marriage impacts the companies’ ability to attract and retain talent. Evidence from the US shows a correlation between attracting gay and lesbian talent and a state’s legal recognition of same–sex relationships. Gay and lesbian prospective employees would prefer to live and work in a state that provides them with equal family recognition, and the correlation is even stronger for young, highly educated and skilled LGBTQ+ talents. Businesses need to be trailblazers when it comes to minorities’ rights, and evidence shows that the wider society will follow”, Lestat Monroe, RDCC Founder, said.

The event included speakers from top companies and NGOs in Romania:

Ella DAVIS – Pride Romania Lead – ACCENTURE

Lawrence Florescu Lawyer – DENTONS Romania

Ramona Puia – People & Culture Manager – IKEA  Romania

Lestat Monroe – Serial Entrepreneur, Founder & Board Member RDCC

Teodora Ion – Rotaru – Executive Director – ACCEPT

Alina Gafu – International HR Manager – Imagination Technologies Romania

Aluziva – Content Creator & Social Activist

Recently, Romanian companies have started to show their support for LGBTQ+ people, through honest conversations with both employees and customers.

For us as an employer, it is important to stay in continuous dialogue with our co-workers around LGBT+ inclusion, so that we clearly communicate about our values and what we stand for. Marking and communicating special days, such as IDAHOT is important, but we need to have dialogues with co-workers more frequently. Only when we create an environment where everyone feels included, our-co-workers can bring their whole self to work. And when our co-workers can be fully themselves at work, then also their productivity increases”, Ramona Puia, People & Culture Manager, IKEA Romania, added.

We believe that, for LGBTIQ+ people to feel included, the entire workplace needs to shift towards a truly inclusive culture. This includes creating an empowering environment in which all employees can bring their authentic self to work and thrive, but also one in which they should feel safe raising concerns when it comes to discrimination. Furthermore, our research found that embracing such a culture of equality is a powerful multiplier of innovation, so fully tapping into all sources of talent in the organization is not just the ethical way to lead, it’s the imperative way to grow and succeed”, Ella Davis, Pride Romania Lead, Accenture.

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