Clonmel woman Eve Kerton has jointly launched Certified Proud, which promotes LGBTQ+ equality throughout businesses in Ireland
A young Clonmel woman has jointly launched an accreditation membership body that strives towards LGBTQ+ equality throughout businesses in Ireland.
Eve Kerton and Liam Redmond say that Certified Proud ensures the safety of staff and the comfort of customers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Eve is a past pupil of Gaelscoil Chluain Meala and Loreto Secondary School, where she was head girl. She studied Communications Studies at Dublin City University, followed by a certificate in fundraising from the Charities Institute of Ireland.
“From first year in Loreto, I was always involved in fundraising and human rights advocacy, from raising money for Cuan Saor (women’s refuge) to organising Christmas appeals,” she says.
“Many of the skills and compassion I learned from those early years are a huge part of the foundations of Certified Proud. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I had at school.
“My mother Susan Kerton has been a huge influence in terms of work ethic throughout my career, and for her artistic guidance with Certified Proud. She studied art at CTI Clonmel and has provided assistance with graphic design, and has been a constant support to our team.”
There’s another local connection through the involvement of Jennifer Morris, content creator and videographer, who is also from Clonmel. She filmed, directed and edited all of the videos for social media on a voluntary basis.
“We were hugely grateful that she believed in our mission and offered her skills and social media assistance,” says Eve.
The first Certified Proud member is JL Designs, run by Joanne O’Herlihy in Clonmel.
“While I am based in Dublin, it was fantastic to be able to work with someone from my hometown so early on in the launch of our business,” says Eve.
“Joanne has worked on Tipperary Pride and has been wonderful to collaborate with. I would love to see more Clonmel businesses come on board to ensure the safety and comfort of LGBTQ+ staff and customers across the county.”
Member organisations pay a fee to join and sign an agreement to incorporate the Certified Proud Principles into their company culture, promising a safe, equal, respectful and visibly inclusive environment all year - not just for the month of Pride.
Each member will be provided with guidelines on how to make their business more inclusive for customers and employees of the LGBTQ+ community. They will also receive training and networking opportunities throughout the year.
Members can also apply to The Bród Awards - an annual celebration of the companies in Ireland who are doing their best to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Once a year, Certified Proud conducts an audit of each member organisation through an online survey, for both staff and customers. Each business needs to reach a satisfaction rate to remain Certified Proud under the current contract.
If this is not met a review will take place, with steps to be taken for improvement.
Member organisations of Certified Proud give back to the LGBTQ+ community by way of a membership fee, 40% of which is donated to charities and projects dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Ireland.
For more information see https://www.certifiedproud.com/
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