June 18, 2014 8:08 am

Pride Week in Saskatoon turns spotlight on workplace inclusion

Watch above: spotlight turned to workplace as Pride Week kicks off in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – The rainbow flag was raised at Saskatoon city hall Monday launching Pride Week in Saskatoon.

Pride Week is a celebration of rights and equality, including the workplace.

“The word gay used to be like a swear word back in the day and now every day it’s in your face, you work with people, you know people,” said Danny Papadatos, president of the Saskatoon Diversity Network.

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According to a Sodexo Workplace Diversity survey of 1,090 employed Canadians, two-thirds of Canadians feel more can be done to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees.

“Certainly society is getting better but the survey itself is indicative of the need for more work to be done,” said Darren Hill, Ward 1 city councillor.

“There are still people who are losing their jobs, people that are being kicked out of rental accommodations, people that are being harassed because of their sexual orientation.”

The survey also found half of those working in the country think their employer should do more to ensure LGBT employees feel comfortable being themselves at work.

“I think the critical event was same sex marriage in 2005 and that was momentous, the most extraordinary political social cultural event that could have happened,” said Don Cochrane, professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan and ‘Breaking The Silence’ organizer.

“Since then, it’s been much easier for those of us who’ve been trying to create less discriminatory environments.”

Tourism Saskatoon recently teamed with the Saskatoon Diversity Network to encourage LGBT travellers to come to the Bridge City.

“It’s wonderful to see where we are now, I can only hope that in 10 years down the road we have the opportunity to just continually grow as a community and support one another,” said Papadatos.

Saskatoon Pride Festival events conclude on Sunday.

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