The LGBTQ Presence in Regional Labour and Employment Ministries

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Labour and employment issues are important to the LGBTQ community. Having a safe workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment is a key goal of any minority. One of the means to achieve this is through government legislation and oversight, and this is advanced through an effective Ministry of Labour or Employment. Having community representation in this Ministry ensures that the issue is on the policy-making agenda.

Many advanced western countries have now passed employment legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, there remains a large gap between guaranteed legal protection from discrimination and actual practice - indirect discrimination also persists. There is an active role required by government Ministries for oversight and action.

One example of blatant discrimination for the LGBTQ community in the workplace is the wage gap that exists between out LGBTQ workers and heterosexual individuals with the same qualifications. This wage gap has serous repercussions for personal and family stability, economic progress, and security for the individual.

We have identified a number of prominent individuals around the world who have an active presence in government Ministries of Labour or Employment. They range from Ministers to advisors, Chiefs of Staff, and Deputy Ministers.

More detailed discussion on labour and employment issues for the LGBTQ community can be found in the book A Path to Diversity: LGBTQ Participation in the Working World available HERE


  • Neil Brown, Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs




  • Leo Varadkar, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment


  • Shachar Grembek, advisory committee to the National Commissioner on Equal Employment Opportunities


United States

  • Virginia Apuzzo, Associate Deputy Secretary of Labor
  • Chai Feldblum, Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner
  • Maura Healey, Chief of the Business and Labor Bureau
  • David Johns, senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
  • Ana M. Ma, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Michael Martell, economist in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor
  • James McGreevey, head of Jersey City's Employment & Training Program
  • Dylan Orr, Director of Labour Standards Office for the City of Seattle
  • Harris Wofford, Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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