8 Tips To Create a LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Workplace
20th Jun 2022
What is LGBTQIA+?
LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive term for members of the queer and trans community, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, and more. LGBTQIA+ gives space to accommodate the spectrum of gender and sexual identities.We have put together eight top tips on how your business can create a LGBTQIA+ inclusive workplace.
1. Review your policiesTo create a safe and empowering work environment for LGBTQIA+ folk, it's crucial to review existing policies and ensure they're inclusive. For example, policies around parental and adoption leave do not often address the unique needs of LGBTQIA+ families. Make sure your policies explicitly address LGBTQIA+ employees and their needs, and you can even make specific policies that support and foster LGBTQIA+ inclusion, such as around transitioning at work.
2. Get senior management on boardWhen senior leaders across your organisation champion LGBTQIA+ inclusion, it sends a positive wider message about inclusion and acceptance of all employees, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Leading by example is crucial!
3. Clarify pronounsUsing pronouns in email signatures, in staff bios, on name tags at company events and functions, in meetings and on social media profiles (for instance, Slack or Zoom) helps challenge our culture of assuming a person's gender identity. When more of us share our pronouns (especially as allies), it helps create an environment where more LGBTQIA+ people can feel comfortable and safe to share theirs. It also signals to queer and trans employees that their gender identity and pronouns will be respected.
4. Incorporate inclusive languageUsing gender-neutral language, such as parental leave instead of maternity leave can help LGBTQIA+ employees feel included and valued, and can be a vital step to foster inclusion and belonging at work.
5. Create a LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG)
Building a network and safe space for LGBTQIA+ employees can be a powerful way to support marginalised staff and foster belonging and inclusion.Having allies in this network can be crucial for awareness-building and solidarity in the workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees. It's also an opportunity to hear directly from LGBTQIA+ staff about their needs and experiences and implement these in the push for structural change. Ensure that action is taken from these ERGs as many companies fall into the trap of having ERGs with no decision making power.