What Entails LGBTQ Inclusion In Workplaces?

lgbtq inclusion

The LGBTQ Pride movement has been making generational shifts in safeguarding the rights and interests of the community. It is still necessary to take supplementary measures to reinforce equality in society, especially in those segments where individuals of this community are subjected to vulnerability. An important constituent of such segments is workplaces.

While workplace inclusion may be a taken-for-granted norm for the majority, the LGBTQ community continues to face both covert and overt forms of discrimination. Their plight is greatly magnified in developing countries that more often than not have a conservative cultural stance. This is why it is extremely important for workplaces everywhere to adopt an LGBTQ inclusive culture.

What does an LGBTQ inclusive workplace look like?

lgbtq inclusive workplace

An all-embracing workplace guarantees absolute fairness and equality to its employees in terms of opportunities for career progression and growth prospects, with the individuals’ performance and potential as core guiding factors.

With regards to LGBTQ inclusion, the workplace must take the initiative to recognize, acknowledge, and address the idiosyncratic challenges faced by such individuals, that are associated with three facets of their personality:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression

Why is LGBTQ inclusion important?

lgbtq inclusion

The LGBTQ community is extremely diverse and incorporates minorities and other disadvantaged groups. Such individuals are exposed to cumulative intersectional discrimination. Therefore, standing up for LGBTQ rights translates to the reinforcement of equality across all boards. Their inclusion ensures people that their opinion matters and their workplace is a conducive environment to exercise professional skills.

The ostracism of this multifarious section is a waste of human potential. Workplaces that fail to create safe spaces for individuals of this group also fail to tap into their potential. This eventually leads to lackluster overall company performance. 

Some core means to implement LGBTQ inclusion in workplaces:

1. Implementing inclusive policies:

inclusive policies
It is crucial to formulate a formal outline that sets the standards for the expected code of conduct.  Such policies should be comprehensive of all types of discrimination and strategies put in place to tackle them to effectively communicate the company’s commitment towards supporting its LGBTQ employees. Additionally, the successful implementation of such inclusive policies must entail disciplinary action whenever they are violated.

2. Conducting diversity training:

Diversity training
Such training is educational and can prove to be an effective tool to ascertain that the policies are correctly understood by all employees. It should underscore the relevance of LGBTQ inclusion and demarcate appropriate behaviors and language directed towards them by non-LGBTQ employees. Most importantly, the active participation of higher management in such training could go a long way in ascertaining fair hiring practices.

3. Promoting LGBTQ mentorship:

Companies can promote mentorship programs that involve creating focused support groups for LGBTQ recruits to gain guidance and insights into the professional realm from senior employees of the same community.  It is a fantastic approach towards establishing an open dialogue for addressing workplace challenges unique to the community. Notably, high-ranking mentors could stand as testimony to the inclusive culture of the company, thus motivating the beneficiaries to set professional goals and work towards achieving them.

4. Using gender-neutral language and dress code:

gender neutral

It is essential to recognize that gender identity is fluid, and this must reflect in the formal language and dress code of the organization. Usage of neutral identifiers for all employees would be instrumental in breaking the heteronormative stereotypes that are rife in the general work culture. 

Also check out: Don’t let mental pressure choke your employees' productivity

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