June marks Pride month for 2021, so there couldn’t be a better time to think about how you can build an LGBTQ+ Inclusive workplace. Remember, inclusion is never a one-size-fits-all concept, and inclusion policies don’t necessarily guarantee employees feeling welcome, if words are not transferred into practice.
From 04th May 2021, the cost of changing one’s legal gender has dropped from £140 to £5, the government has announced. To make the application process easier it is also set to be moved online.
Within the context of an expanding societal awareness in this area, the need for employers to understand gender issues and trans rights is increasingly important. Ignorance of these topics within organisations risks legal claims, financial exposure, reputational damage and a poor working culture.
Younger generations are driving the way for gender diversity and inclusion; according to HRZone, 20% of millennials currently identify as LGBTQ+, compared to 7% of baby boomers.
Here are some strategies and guidance to consider introducing:
Workplace training, especially for line managers
Offering regular and in-depth Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training in the workplace training can be a powerful way to educate everyone, and it is important that this includes consideration for LGBTQ+ issues. Training helps ensure your policies are heard and understood across the organisation.
Open door policy
Conversation is a great foundation – LGBTQ+ employees are choosing to work for companies that don’t just state they welcome diversity, they also prove it and actively talk about LGBTQ+ experiences. Don’t close your business off from talent by staying silent from the conversation.
Review your use of language and pronouns
Gender-neutral language avoids bias towards a particular gender. Using ‘they’ instead of ‘he/she’ in contracts and other company documentation is a good step towards this.
If companies aren’t recording and analysing the data they are gaining from their efforts, then they can’t progress, improve and identify gaps. Through regular reporting, you are able to share the results, allowing staff to input, and see the suggestions being taken.
Celebrate LGBTQ+ History and events within your calendar
Celebrating LGBT History Month, Pride, or Trans Day of Visibility just as you would other important days in the calendar, such as Easter or International Women’s Day, will be a great boost to awareness and inclusion throughout the year.
Actively tackle issues
Office “banter” can establish a culture of subordination and complaints should be taken seriously. A clear message from management about the importance of diversity can help.
Taking these steps towards an inclusive workplace will send the message that a business wants progress, and is serious about diversity.