5 ways to build more inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees

While it’s great that more and more companies are making their support for the LGBTQ+ community publicly visible during Pride in June, companies can also put more emphasis on actions that are less publicly visible but help support inclusive workplaces.

[Read this post in Norwegian →]

1. Celebrating Pride is a great first step 🏳️‍🌈 🔈

Just remember that Pride is only for one month a year. Read on for tips for how companies can go beyond the end of the rainbow, and work continuously on building an inclusive culture the whole year round:

  • Using the Pride flag in your company’s social media and on your website is a great first step, which is easy for many companies to take.
  • Read the Equality Check team’s checklist for how to celebrate Pride as a company here.

2. Be proactive: create an inclusive culture that doesn’t rely on the burden of individual representation and visibility 🌈 👀

  • Some organisations think their aim is to create a working environment where LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable enough to come out and be publicly visible. Coming out is a deeply personal choice that can involve a lot of different factors that go beyond how supportive your organisation and team feel they are.
  • Aim to create an inclusive culture where everyone feels comfortable enough to be themselves, whatever their identity
  • Don’t wait for LGBTQ+ employees to make themselves visible before working on this topic
Learn more about being out at work [read] Is coming out really still a big deal at work?

3. Don’t just talk about inclusive recruiting, be inclusive 🏳️‍🌈 ✅

When you’re conducting a job interview, you wouldn’t ask a candidate about their plans to have children (would you?!). But you would share your benefits program and parental leave entitlements.

  • You don’t need to know a candidate’s sexual identity to share your company’s inclusive parental leave policy
  • Or which employee resource groups your company currently has that work with inclusivity or LGBTQ+ specifically

4. Develop and implement inclusive global work policies 🌈 📝

Don’t just create or update them, but make awareness and familiarity a key part of your employee experience

  • Include anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in your employee handbook
  • Ensure your parental leave policy is updated to be inclusive of non-traditional family setups (including adoption by same sex couples)
  • Leadership should communicate them internally clearly and regularly
    • Employee onboarding
    • Internal events and awareness days
    • Internal wikis and communication channels
    • Create employee resource groups that act as a forum and support networkSupport written policies with people-led resources
    • They can be both an informal link between leadership (general feedback on experiences and feelings) or formal (input on policies and specific initiatives, etc)

5. Use training to address a lack of knowledge and change beliefs and behaviour 🏳️‍🌈📘

Change doesn't happen without understanding.

  • Leadership training helps to create change from the top-down and equips managers with the confidence to lead by example
  • Mitigate risk by guiding all employees on what is inappropriate or incorrect

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