What is Lesbian Visibility Week?
Lesbian Visibility Week and Lesbian Visibility Day are annual visibility periods observed and celebrated in the US, UK, Australia, and increasingly worldwide. The aims of both the day and the week are to raise awareness of lesbian women and non-binary people.
Although the exact foundation of International Lesbian Day is uncertain, it is widely believed that it began in Australia and New Zealand in 1980 when a Lesbian Day March was held in New Zealand. The first Australian event was held at the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne on October 13, 1990.
Why is lesbian visibility important?
- Lesbian women and non-binary people exist at an intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity that can sometimes be overlooked.
- Lesbian women and non-binary are typically less visible than gay men in LGBT+ employee networks overall.
- The lack of visibility is a barrier to attracting more LGBT+ women into our industry and our existing talent feeling able to be ‘out’ within the workplace.
- McKinsey found that 23% of lesbians at work reported a feeling that they could not talk about their lives outside of work, compared to only 10% of women overall.
Questions to ask
- Awareness: Does my organisation and/or LGBT+ network provide awareness-building education and initiatives for colleagues?
- Visibility: Does my organisation and/or LGBT+ network have specific and visible LGBT+ women role models and allies
- Allyship: How are we developing a culture of authentic allyship around LGBT+ women?
- Communication: How are we signalling our support to the community externally?
- Data: How are we tracking, measuring, and reviewing our progress?
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