The last year has surely been quite tough and full of challenges for all of us. This is true for both, in terms of our careers, as well as, emotionally. But for one community, which frankly has been burdened and tormented for decades now, the last year has proven to be culturally revolutionizing. Yes, we’re talking about the LGBTQ+ community! According to some new data released in partnership with PSB Research, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to have experienced a cut in work hours and feeling that their personal finances are in worse shape. So, the pandemic had a greater impact on the LGBTQ+ workforce. However, it is important to remember that talent is not bounded by any restriction and certainly not by gender orientation. This pride month, here’s how to ensure LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.
Having said that, in this post, we will walk you through everything you need to know to have a more inclusive approach while handling the LGBTQ+ workforce. For starters, let’s look into who does the LGBTQ+ community include.
What does LGBTQ+ refer to?
In a nutshell, the LGBTQ+ community includes all the people who identify themselves as of any sexual orientation other than male or female. To be more specific, the term LGBTQ+ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The most important thing to note here is that it may include people of other sexualities like pansexual and asexual people.
Some Facts About LGBTQ+ Community In Workplace
Now that we’ve known who are the people categorized in the LGBTQ+ community, it’s now important for us to know some facts about the LGBTQ+ and their existence in the global workforce. The truth to know here is that LGBTQ+ employees are very underrepresented in any workspace. We sure have evolved into a progressive society. However, let’s take a look at some numbers which state otherwise.
- A McKinsey & Co. report found that most companies’ stated commitments towards the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community haven’t translated into results effectively.
Also, a Human Rights Campaign survey found that:
- 46% of the LGBTQ+ workers are still closeted at work.
- Half of the LGBTQ+ workers are still not open about their identities at their workplaces.
- 1 in 5 LGBTQ workers has had coworkers imply that they should dress in a specific way.
The ultimate truth is that LGBTQ+ workers do not feel safe to work everywhere. So, in today’s work environment, the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community has become very important. It is very important to ensure that your LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable and safe to be able to bring their complete selves to work.
Sure, recently we’ve had companies embracing the trends of the pride month. However, changing outward appearances may not always translate into daily practice. Changing your company’s logo into a rainbow filter may seem enough. But there’s a lot more when it comes to the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. So, here are some of the best practices on how to ensure LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.
Adopt LGBTQ+ Friendly Hiring Strategies
One of the most important steps towards being more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community is to actually attract more LGBTQ+ talents. The reason why you’re not able to attract more such candidates is that your hiring process lacks diversity. That’s why you need to remove bias from your recruiting process. To do this, the first step you need to do is expand your search. Doing this may involve posting your job ads beyond your already existing network. Also, you can pre-test your employees based on their work and have a diverse interview panel. Taking all these steps will help in hiring the right person for the job, irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation.
Don’t Make Unnecessary Assumptions
There’s no denying the fact that we all are prone to having stereotypes when it comes to assuming who belongs to the LGBTQ+ community. We tend to make assumptions based on appearances. However, the truth is you can’t tell if someone is LGBTQish just by looking at them. So, when an LGBTQ+ person is hired at a workplace, the tendency to make assumptions can make a very unwelcoming environment for them. So, in general, it’s the best practice to just not assume anything about anyone. Instead, educate your staff to treat everyone in your team equally, irrespective of their gender orientation.
State Your Intentions And Policies Loud And Clear
It’s easier to change appearances, change logos, use rainbow flags and even tweet about happy pride month. However, what really matters is how you build your set of rules and policies to actually take a step towards including the LGBTQ+ community. Not just this, your policies should be loud and clear. Enough for the LGBTQ+ community to interpret them properly. LGBTQ+ inclusion policies should be at the center of your diversity and equality policies. From pension schemes to parental leaves, every aspect should be equal for the LGBTQ+ community as well. Communicate your policies and intentions to your employees from all the management levels via diversity training and seminars.
Be Thoughtful About The Pronouns You Use
Deciding on what pronouns to use for the LGBTQ+ community can be like treading on eggshells. The fact is that using pronouns in emails, business meetings, and other formalities has been a prevalent practice in the business world. However, when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, using the right pronouns can be a tricky business. It is quite evident from the fact that 88% of Gen Z candidates think it’s important for recruiters to ask them their pronouns. Using pronouns is a common way to address someone based on their gender. So, it is very important to address the people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community using the pronouns they are actually comfortable with.
Be Supportive And Show Your Pride
People belonging to the LGBTQ+ community have been harassed and closeted for decades now. So, there’s a possibility that they’re not so much into interacting with people. So, it is very important to create a supportive environment for welcoming the LGBTQ+ community into your workforce. Also, it’s important to take measures and show your support. To do this, the first step is to educate the leadership on the benefits of diversity. Stick up for your LGBTQ+ employees when they’re being called out by their colleagues. Celebrate the significant pride days and events as joyously and proudly as any other event. These small gestures can be huge steps towards building an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ employees.