Supporting your LGBTQ+ Employees

Recognising and celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month should be a priority for all organisations committed to a diverse and inclusive approach to management. Stonewall reports 18% of LGBT staff have been the target of negative comments due to their LGBT status and 12% of trans people have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues because of their status. Employers that recognise and celebrate Pride need to do more than wave a rainbow flag, they need to look at the ways they operate and how to offer more support to their employees.

Here are some effective ways of positioning your organisation as an LGBTQ+ ally and ensuring you promote inclusion and diversity in your workplace.

Education

It is vital that allies take the time and effort to research what being an ally of the LGBTQ+ community means. You cannot expect your employees to be a constant source of information and you need to take some initiative too. Making the effort to learn the historical and political significance of Pride Month is a great place to start but you can also look at immersing yourself in LGBTQ+ media, reading LGBTQ+ journalism and taking the time to understand the importance of events such as Pride.

Education can also be more formal as you offer your employees the chance to further understand the importance of LGBT inclusion in the workplace.

Supportive Culture

The first step in being supportive and an LGBTQ+ ally is listening. No one wants you to constantly single out and praise LGBTQ+ colleagues. This would be an awful idea. Instead, work on creating a culture of support and listening. Appreciate the privileges that come with heterosexuality and be open to learning and education in all areas. Creating a culture where LGBTQ+ people feel safe to be themselves at work is vital.

Assess your Hiring Practices

Inclusive hiring practices are essential to show LGBTQ+ candidates and employees that your workplace is right for them. Inclusive recruitment practices mean more than simply stating you are an equal opportunities employer. HR should be committed to interviewing and hiring diverse people from diverse backgrounds and about more than just gender and race. Processes such as anonymising CVs in the recruitment process can help remove bias and create a more inclusive approach to hiring.

Consider your Business’ Public Profile

Changing the colour of your logo during Pride Month does not indicate an organisation committed to supporting LGBTQ+ rights. Extend visibility all around the year and don’t simply engage with tokenism once a year. Ensure your company’s advertising and imagery is inclusive. Include more diverse families and individuals in your materials and it will soon show that you aren’t simply trying to get involved with a once-a-year event.

Be Loud, Vocal and Proud

Actively engaging in your LGBTQ+ ally status is the clearest way to show your company’s position. Support an LGBTQ+ charity, host events to celebrate and discuss LGBTQ+ issues and get involved with Pride, whether that’s sponsoring a float or holding an event of your own. Encouraging inclusive and respectful language in the workplace is vital too. Casual comments passed off as jokes or banter may be extremely hurtful and be part of the reason an LGBTQ+ colleague feels they cannot be themselves at work. It may mean having some difficult conversations, but it’s worth it to create a safer, diverse place to work.

Pride Month is a chance to celebrate with your LGBTQ+ colleagues and promote your business’ inclusivity at the same time. Take a look at some of the great courses we offer to support this.