Five ways to kickstart LGBTQ+ inclusion at work
Whether you’re LGBTQ+ or an ally, whether you head up your organisation or you’re in an entry-level role, everybody should feel able to make their workplace a little more inclusive. Here, we’ll share five top tips for kickstarting LGBTQ+ inclusion at your organisation, regardless of shape or size.
Workplaces should be inclusive for every employee. For LGBTQ+ people, that means more than simply being protected from discrimination while at work – it’s about the ability to be fully themselves. It means not needing to omit information when talking about their relationships and living situations, not having to formulate excuses if they need transition-related medical leave and being able to take advantage of the same family leave policies as their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts without having a tricky conversation first.
You might want this to be the case in your organisation but know it’s not quite there yet. So, what can you do to help? We’ve gathered some great tips from our Workplace team on how to take your first steps towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. Whether you take on one or all of them, with these pointers, you’ll start to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ employees in concrete ways. And if you end up on a roll, implementing some of these changes will set you in good stead for entering Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, where you can win Bronze, Silver and Gold awards to recognise your inclusion efforts.
- Improve your policies
Policies might not be the first thing you consider when making LGBTQ+ people happier at work, but they’re crucial to creating a genuinely inclusive environment.
As a starter, ensure you have policies that include explicit bans on discrimination, bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Take it one step further by introducing a transitioning at-work policy. This will work best if it includes guidance for transitioning employees and managers and HR supporting a transitioning employee.
- Let prospective LGBTQ+ employees know they’ll be accepted at work
One of the best ways to do this is to write a strong statement about how your organisation values diversity, mentioning LGBTQ+ people explicitly. If you ensure that information is visible across your job packs and recruitment pages, you will attract a broader range of applications.
- Keep inclusion high on the agenda when training new staff
When new employees are inducted, ensure they receive an explicit message about your organisation’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Take this one step further by training all staff about your discrimination, bullying and harassment policies and how they help create a supportive atmosphere for everyone.
- Diversify your internal comms
Once staff have been inducted and trained, they’ll understand that your organisation is committed to creating a supportive environment for everyone. But keep these messages going for all employees – new or not. You can do this by celebrating awareness days, highlighting information about LGBTQ+ identities and experiences, or platforming LGBTQ+ trailblazers in your sector.
- Set up an employee network group
Creating a dedicated space for LGBTQ+ colleagues from across the business to connect and share peer support can make an enormous difference to the experiences of your LGBTQ+ staff. We’ve created a range of free resources to help you establish a network.
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