Workplace diversity is when employees have a wide range of characteristics and experiences that concern gender, age, race and sexual orientation—this, of course, includes the LGBTQ+ community. Organisations benefit from a variety of perspectives and skills but only when employees’ differences are accommodated for.
LGBTQ+ is a term to identify a collective of people whose gender identity and/or sexual orientation go beyond traditional norms. As employment specialists, we share our guidance in addressing the diversity within your workforce so that you can make your workplace LGBTQ+ inclusive.
Here are some key things to consider:
Equity above equality
Whereas equality suggests treating people the same, equity is treating people differently to equalise opportunities.
Concerning LGBTQ+ staff, you should investigate adoption/surrogacy leave rights for gay parents, provide unisex toilets for gender fluid staff members and allow for the use of ‘they’ pronouns in contracts. Once you educate yourself about the differences, you will recognise the adjustments required.
Education is key
Learn from LGBTQ+ members and provide this information as training for other members of staff. They may know the company does not tolerate hate speech but not what is deemed offensive. Research the proper terms used to identify people in the LGBTQ+ community and encourage LGBTQ+ staff to share what they are most comfortable with.
Strengthen your community
Sometimes our society marginalises those who are ‘different.’ Create a space for all staff to connect and learn about one another through:
- A social network channel
- Societies/ clubs
- Social events
Ask diverse staff to share their expectations
This will guide you where to prioritise your support.
Unfortunately, not all diverse groups feel comfortable sharing that they belong to one. By introducing an anonymous survey, an employee going through a gender transition can share the impracticalities of the company gym classes being segregated by gender.
Practice what you preach
Each year many brands advertise their support for the Pride initiative. Whilst this helps to spread awareness, it can be offensive to LGBTQ+ members when the Pride flag is used opportunistically in marketing i.e ‘rainbow washing’. An organisation certainly should not be seen as an example of inclusion if that’s not the case. Share your support but only once your practices align with it.
In summary, by looking to include the LGBTQ+ community in your workplace you understand the need to proactively adapt your workplace practices. Start by educating yourself and your staff to then make informed decisions to improve equity in your organisation.
With our client guides, we can provide you with guidance for workplace inclusion. To recruit and manage employees in the Microsoft Dynamics Jobs space contact our team on +44 (0) 1483 233 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.