10 ways to create an lgbtq+ inclusive workplace
Last updated on September 15th, 2022 at 06:26 am
Global – A recent Gallup poll shows that about 5.6% of the US population, or nearly 18 million American adults, are LGBTQ+. However, while many companies say diversity and inclusion is a priority, LGBTQ+ professionals still face unique challenges in the workplace related to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
However, recruiting people from all walks of life to support diversity in the workplace is not possible without an inclusive work culture that actively welcomes all people for who they are and encourages people to succeed at work.
Why is LGBT+ inclusion important in the workplace?
The benefits of creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive work environment go beyond ensuring that employees of all sexual and gender identities feel safe and participate. While this is the primary goal, including LGBTQ+ in the workplace benefits businesses in several ways, including profitability and productivity.
So, from an ethical and business standpoint, a solid strategy for engaging LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace is vital. This is because all team members will feel less stressed, more satisfied and productive by being a respected part of a cohesive team.
5 Ways to Create an Inclusive LGBTQ+ Workplace
The following are effective methods that employers can use to create a culture of engagement in a company. As with any other group, LGBTQ+ people are not monolithic, so you should treat these practices with empathy, getting the person involved and encouraging their well-being.
1. Create a strong, inclusive policy
Review your policies to ensure that your workplace policies are explicitly supportive of LGBTQ+ people in the organization. Workplace policy is a great strategy, but it’s more important to develop a growth mindset, real ambition, and a commitment to being a truly LGBTQ+-friendly workplace.
2. Use inclusive language
Pay attention to your working language because it’s important. Language can make people feel secure, empowered and involved.
As such, this is another important way to actively show your support for a healthier and more inclusive environment. Incorrect use of language can make employees feel lost, alienated and stigmatized.
It’s important to recognize potentially offensive terms, respond to them, and help your team use acceptable language. Usually, non-inclusive or derogatory language is ignored as a joke during casual conversations.
3. Create support programs for LGBTQ+ employees
Employee networking groups, mentoring, conferences and workshops are critical to creating a more inclusive work environment for LGBTQ+ employees. You can use support measures such as LGBTQ+ competency training, climate studies, and employee resource groups.
According to the Campaign for Human Rights, many successful organizations work with an executive leader who connects employee resource teams with senior management to develop actionable plans.
4. Offer LGBTQ+ Inclusive Benefits
Employee benefit packages are among the most important considerations for various job seekers. However, they may inadvertently exclude LGBTQ+ people.
Offer equal benefits to employees regardless of people’s sexual orientation, including adoption policy, parental leave, and time off.
5. Build an LGBTQ+ Network
There are many approaches to creating this network. But the goal is clear – to support our LGBTQ+ employees.
It must have clear goals, resources, responsibilities and support from the highest levels of leadership. People in your organization can help clarify what works well for them and areas in the workplace that may need tweaking or a new approach.