As the world becomes more diverse and inclusive, it’s important for businesses to create a workplace that celebrates and supports employees of all backgrounds, including those who identify as LGBT+. However, many businesses may not know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help businesses create an LGBT+ inclusive workplace.
Establish a Clear Diversity and Inclusion Policy
One of the first steps businesses can take is to establish a clear diversity and inclusion policy that explicitly includes LGBT+ employees. This policy should make it clear that discrimination and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated, and should outline specific steps that the business will take to promote inclusion.
A report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that 93% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 91% have policies that include gender identity. This shows that many businesses are already taking steps to create LGBT+ inclusive workplaces, but there is still work to be done.
Provide Training for Managers and Employees
Training is essential to creating an LGBT+ inclusive workplace. Managers and employees should be trained on the importance of diversity and inclusion, as well as on specific issues that LGBT+ employees may face. This training can help to promote understanding and empathy, and can help to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.
A study by the Williams Institute found that 75% of LGBT+ employees have experienced some form of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. However, when managers receive training on LGBT+ issues, the likelihood of discrimination and harassment decreases. This highlights the importance of training in creating an LGBT+ inclusive workplace.
Offer Benefits That Support LGBT+ Families
Businesses can also support LGBT+ employees by offering benefits that are inclusive of LGBT+ families. For example, businesses can offer parental leave that is inclusive of same-sex couples, or offer health insurance that covers gender reassignment surgery. These benefits can help to create a workplace where LGBT+ employees feel supported and valued.
A report by Out & Equal found that offering inclusive benefits can have a positive impact on employee retention and recruitment. In fact, 78% of LGBT+ employees said that they would be more likely to stay with an employer that offers LGBT+ inclusive benefits.
Create an "Everyday" Culture of Inclusion
According to a report by Deloitte, creating an “everyday” culture of inclusion is one of the leading practices for LGBT+ inclusion. This means creating a workplace where diversity and inclusion are celebrated and valued every day, not just during special events or initiatives. Businesses can create this culture by promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the workplace, from hiring practices to team-building activities.
A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies with diverse workforces are more likely to outperform their less diverse peers. This highlights the importance of creating an inclusive workplace culture, not just for LGBT+ employees, but for all employees.
Provide Visible Support from Senior Leaders
Finally, businesses can create an LGBT+ inclusive workplace by providing visible support from senior leaders. This can include having senior leaders participate in LGBT+ events, or publicly supporting LGBT+ causes. This visible support can help to create a workplace where LGBT+ employees feel valued and supported, and can help to promote a culture of inclusion throughout the business.
A study by the Center for Talent Innovation found that visible support from senior leaders is essential to creating an inclusive workplace. In fact, 72% of LGBT+ employees said that they would not work for a company that does not support LGBT+ causes.
In conclusion, creating an LGBT+ inclusive workplace requires a concerted effort from businesses. By establishing a clear diversity and inclusion policy, providing training, offering inclusive benefits, creating an “everyday” culture of inclusion, and providing visible support from senior leaders, businesses can create a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it can also have a positive impact on employee retention, recruitment, and overall business performance.