Tags – Inclusive Workplace for LGBTQ+ Employees
However, there is still work to be done as many LGBQT+ people in the UK choose not to disclose their sexuality at work.
Unfortunately, LGBQT+ job seekers are 5% less likely to be offered an interview compared to heterosexual applicants with similar skills and experience.
As Pride Month comes to an end, it’s important we reflect on these injustices that have burdened the community and promote an inclusive workplace of equality.
An inclusive workplace is understood as one where people with all kinds of differences and disabilities are welcomed and valued for their contributions.
On a positive note, by taking practical steps to effectively include the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace will demonstrate your commitment to respecting such identities of your employees.
Here are 5 actions to take to foster an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees.
1. Create Clear Policies
A good place to start to create an inclusive workplace is to review your existing workplace policies and make sure they explicitly state how you, as an employer, supports LGBTQ+ inclusion (as well as other diversities).
At the same time, you could develop specific LGBTQ+ policies, such as guidance for transitioning at work and which managers to seek support from.
Overall, there needs to be a strong sense of anti-discrimination so that all employees are aware of what is not tolerated in the workplace.
By doing so, LGBTQ+ employees will not only feel safe but supported too.
2. Take Discrimination Seriously
Following on from the previous point, discrimination should be taken very seriously in your recruitment processes.
By having strong anti-bullying and harassment policies, all teams within the business will know what behaviours will not be tolerated and any signs of bullying towards LGBTQ+ employees should immediately be reported for managers to take suitable action.
Consequently, if employees witness others being treated badly with no disciplinary action, it sets a bad precedent that this behaviour is acceptable.
3. Support Staff Through Diversity Training
It’s a good idea to implement diversity training that includes what discrimination and abuse against LGBTQ+ people may look like and why it is not tolerated.
Begin by training line managers first, which can then be passed down to support a zero-tolerance approach towards homophobic, biphobic, transphobic etc. abuse in the workplace.
At the same time, increase your understanding and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and ask employees about issues they face at work, what they find challenging and invite their suggestions to help improve the environment for all.
Over time, you should see a shift in workplace culture where all gender identities are accepted and therefore in line with your overall company values.
4. Offer Equal Benefits
Sometimes, benefits packages can unintentionally exclude LGBTQ+ families so it’s important to check these before they are offered.
Regardless of gender identity, equal benefits should be offered to all employees, which includes parental and adoption leave.
5. Medical Appointments
In regards to transgender employees, there may be times they need to take some time off to attend medical appoints.
Like you would with treating a physical injury, this time off should be approved and paid the same.
During this time, these employees may need additional emotional support, so ensure you have the right resources at work and a specific staff member for them to turn to – even if it’s during work hours.
Businesses can play a huge role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community and should always strive for an equal, inclusive workplace.
Everyone should feel empowered to wholly be themselves, so always ensure that wellbeing support is available and widely communicated throughout the whole business.
If you would like to know more, please contact us today.
In the meantime, check out our HR Consultancy Huddersfield services.
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