Over the last decade, workplaces have made strides in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) employees and creating an inclusive workplace. However, there is still work to be done.
It's time to be proactively talking about diversity and equality year-round and continually working to move the needle on these issues. Don't be shy in communicating what else you're besides making your logo more colorful and rainbow-clad partying at the Pride parades. This article outlines the importance of having an inclusive workspace, how it contributes to the bottom line, and of course, we offer 4 concrete ways you can contribute to creating more inclusive, equal, and diverse.
The importance of diversity
The evidence is clear: companies that embrace LGBT policies outperform their competitors. Diversity helps draw top talent and foster innovation, and people perform significantly better when they can be themselves at work.
Previous studies have shown the positive impact of LGBTQ-inclusive practices on a company’s bottom line and its ability to attract and retain talent. Companies that adopt LGBTQ-inclusive practices tend to improve their financial standing and do better than companies that do not adopt them. Additionally, employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, express greater job satisfaction at companies where these practices are in place.
Being inclusive improves the bottom line
To attract and retain talent, 80% of the respondents in a 2017 Deloitte study on diversity and inclusion said that inclusion is an important factor in choosing an employer, and 72% said they would leave an organization for one they believe is more inclusive.
From small, private companies to multinational, publicly-owned corporations, fostering a culture that leverages acceptance and growth of all employees is important to recruiting and retaining talent. Additionally, studies show when companies formalize their inclusive workplace practices, they improve their financial standing in both real terms and compared with their industry peers.
Most large companies know this. According to the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index from 2018, 91% of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies, and 83% include gender identity as well.
Tactics such as nondiscrimination policies and employee resource groups help ensure that a company LGBTQ-inclusive and bring that positive return on investment (ROI). However, despite the financial focused success of such business tactics, many LGBTQ remains closeted in the workplace.
How can you help your workplace become more inclusive?
While attitudes are changing, it's possible to help accelerate the pace of change. “Unfortunately, LGBTQ people often experience disproportionate levels of prejudice and bullying at work and elsewhere,” said David Price, CEO at Health Assured. “Homophobic bullying in the workplace is prevalent, even if it’s not entirely deliberate. Microaggressions like using ‘gay’ as a negative term for something you don't like is just as much bullying as directly singling someone out. And people can be subconsciously passed over for promotion or pay rises purely based on their sexuality.”
4 Ways you can accelerate the pace of change:
- Foster a positive work environment: Put LGBTQ-supportive policies in place and send a signal to your manager or team as well as potential employees that you operate in a positive and diverse climate, promoting fairness among all employees. When employees feel that their workplace is more inclusive, fairer, and supportive, they tend to be happier, healthier, and more productive.
- Establish a support network: An internal support network or forum is a great way to show a commitment to diversity and give people who need it a voice for their concerns.
- Embrace changing attitudes: Emphasise your own workplace's positivity toward changing attitudes by, for instance, moving toward gender-neutral language. Gender-neutral language avoids bias towards a particular gender. Here is a list of words and phrases from Skeiv Ungdom.
- Get feedback, take action: Ask your colleagues, employees, and managers to review the workplace at Equalitycheck.it and based on the feedback, start implementing the changes that need to be made.
Make a long-term, authentic commitment
There’s still a lot of work to be done to continue the fight for equality for the LGBTQ community. To honor the work done and work we need to continue to do, together with Pride Oslo and Skriv Ungdom, we’ve added three new questions to Equality Check. We hope this will contribute to everyone feeling safe and 100% their authentic selves at the workplace.
Contribute to workplace equality by leaving a review of your workplace today!
- Trends & insight