‘Business culture consultant’ fired from the company for anti-gay comments

A “business culture consultant” who wrote an article criticising gay people for “bashing their families” has been fired from her job, according to a report.

Sarah Gifford, who has been employed at a business-focused consultancy firm for nearly a year, was sacked on Monday.

She was previously a staff member at the company and was “actively involved” in the project.

The article, titled ‘Homophobia and the way we think’, criticises gay people’s “battering their families”, sparked a backlash against the organisation and its director, which the firm said it had investigated.

Ms Giffords article was published on a website called the Business Culture Blog, which also published a series of articles calling for gay people to be “taken out of the closet” and said it would work with gay men and lesbians to combat homophobia.

The articles also criticised the company’s “gay-friendly” corporate culture.

The blog has since been removed.

MsGifford was hired in August 2016 to work on “the business culture of a modern, innovative and creative company”.

She has since worked at the same firm, as a “management consultant”, for four years.

“The work of the blog is largely non-political, but the posts in the blog and other online content have taken on a political and homophobic tone that has been upsetting to many,” she said in a statement.

“I was shocked and dismayed to read that my employer’s decision to fire me was based on an opinion piece that has now been removed and I have been terminated.”

The business-driven consultancy firm said in its statement that the article was “clearly written in a manner that was in breach of our company’s corporate social responsibility and diversity policies”.

“The blog and website has been deleted and the company has taken the decision to terminate Ms GIFFORD as a result of this action,” the statement read.

The company did not say what actions it was taking against Ms Giffs blog, which has since now been taken down.

Msgiffords departure from the consultancy firm came after a “public spat” with the company, which was forced to “re-examine the content of its blogs and to change its corporate social responsibilities policies and practices”.

“Our current and past policies and behaviours have been clear, consistent and transparent,” the firm wrote in a blog post.

“We have a long history of diversity, inclusion and inclusion in our work with the LGBT community, and have always strived to meet the high expectations and needs of the LGBTI community.”

It said the blog’s “tone and language has not only offended the LGBTQ community, but also the wider workplace”.

The business, which is based in Melbourne’s CBD, had recently taken part in a $100,000 fund-raising campaign, but has since ceased its participation.

“It’s unfortunate that a company with a proven track record of positive impact and growth has chosen to make this choice, but our core values are to make our work a safe, inclusive and welcoming place for all members of our team,” the company said.

“To be clear, we do not tolerate the views, comments or actions of any individual or group.”