June marks Pride Month, an event that champions equality, celebrates self-acceptance, and spotlights the history of the LGBT+ community. With inclusivity being a major theme of Pride Month, businesses should aim to be supportive & welcoming for their employees.
We’ve outlined some steps on how HR leaders can create a safe and inclusive workplace for their LGBT+ employees to feel valued within.
What is Pride?
Pride began during an uprising against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. The uprising played a pivotal role in fighting against homophobic discrimination and paved the way for the gay rights movement. Today, LGBT+ communities around the world celebrate Pride through parades, parties, marches, and more!
Cultivate an open environment
Although in recent years, we’ve seen great progression for the LGBT+ community, homophobic bullying and harassment are still at large within some workplaces. A report from Stonewall suggests, more than a third of LGBT+ staff will hide their sexuality due to fear of discrimination. HR leaders should lay the foundation for change and cultivate an open and welcoming work environment by hosting inclusivity workshops. These expert-led workshops could provide an insight into the LGBT+ community and encourage team members to reflect upon any biases that may cause them to discriminate.
Implement an anti-discriminatory policy
A diverse workplace is advantageous, but it also means there could be a greater risk of discriminatory behaviour. Employees with minimal understanding of LGBT+ may display prejudiced views which could create an uncomfortable work environment for LGBT+ employees. HR leaders can safeguard the interest of their employees by tackling such views with anti-discriminatory policies. Businesses should make it clear, that there is an open and tolerant mindset within the company and establish procedures for those who choose to violate the policies. By eradicating any prejudice that may arise within the workplace, will show your employees that the company takes discrimination seriously.
Listen to employees and take action
As a HR leader, you should ensure that your people feel safe at work. Communication is the best way to build a relationship with your employees and listening to their views and honest feedback will help you identify any concerns amongst your team. You could send out anonymous surveys asking for your employees’ feedback on how they like LGBT+ inclusion embedded within the workplace. Listen to the feedback provided and reinforce the correct response. As a result, it can increase employee engagement and productivity.
Support LGBT+ charities and influencers
You could also consider supporting LGBT+ charities. Charities often look for money donations but giving your time and skills can be just as valuable. Make an impact by using your company’s social media as a tool to promote the charity’s awareness to a large audience. Another powerful way to show support is by partnering up with LGBT+ influencers. Use your culture and communications platforms to amplify their voices, share their personal experiences, and unite employees together.
Decorate your workplace
If you’re operating in open offices, you could bring the Pride celebrations to work by decorating the office with rainbow flags, balloons, and banners. For those working from home, it doesn’t mean the celebrations should end there. You can still celebrate Pride by changing your Google Hangouts or Zoom backgrounds to the Pride flag.