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?
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?
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:
2. Conducting diversity training:
3. Promoting LGBTQ mentorship:
4. Using gender-neutral language and dress code:
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.
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