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21 Jun 2021

Five ways to be LGBTQ+ Friendly in the workplace

Being LGBTQ+ friendly is vital to supporting many of your people. Here at Each Person, we strive for inclusivity and encouragement for everyone within the workplace, including those who identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and, plus). An estimated 1.4 million people aged 16 years and over identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2019, which illustrates the size of the community and the importance of recognising them.

Across the world, people celebrate Pride month during June. Although in 2021, COVID-19 has postponed many Pride celebrations, it is still crucial to recognise such a powerful and intricate history and culture. Many individuals within the LGBTQ+ community still suffer prejudice. More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination. For this reason, we have put together ways to be LGBTQ+ friendly in the workplace.

Tips to Make Your Workplace LGBTQ+ Friendly

1. Educate yourself on LGBTQ+ friendly matters

Firstly, it is vital to educate yourself on the history and culture of LGBTQ communities. Teaching yourself the fundamental issues will give you an understanding of the difficulties faced every day. Furthermore, knowledge will allow for a more LGBTQ+ friendly in the workplace.

There are many resources available to get to grips with LGBTQ+ related issues. For example, Stonewall, with a dedicated section to inclusive workspaces, and LGBT Foundation offering up news on research, health and more.

2. Stand Up for LGBTQ+ Co-workers

More than half of LGBTQ employees (53%) say they have heard lesbian and gay jokes at work. Be sure to speak up against derogatory jokes and discrimination within the workplace. Try to build a way of quickly addressing these issues. If you are a manager, show your team that your door is always open, and you strive for an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace.

Remember, not every member of the LGBTQ+ community is open about their sexuality and may not feel able to address these issues themselves. Using your privilege will help break down stigmas others may not have the ability to do.

3. LGBTQ+ Benefits

Be sure to offer inclusive and non-discriminatory benefits and perks at work to all of your people, no matter their gender or sexual orientation. Many standardised benefit packages exclude LGBTQ+ families and transgender individuals, such as parental and adoption leave. Creating inclusive rewards and recognition at work is a positive and exciting way to increase LGBTQ+ friendly workplaces.

Many companies use an employee of the month scheme as a means to reward their people. Make sure that this does not exclude any individual and includes gender-neutral terms.

4. Gender-Neutral Terms

Following our previous point, using gender-neutral terms within the workplace is indispensable to creating an LGBTQ+ friendly environment. For example, general greetings such as “Hey dude” or “Ladies and gentlemen” can cause many individuals to feel uncomfortable and rejected. Instead, you can say thank you for your hard work with terms like “teammate” or “everyone”.

5. Address your own Bias

Finally, understanding and addressing your own biases will enable you to create an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace by simply unlearning your behaviours. On top of this, Implicit Association Test can help to identify your prejudice towards sexuality.

On the whole, creating an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace is necessary to keep your people happy. Through these relatively simple, manageable ad effective steps, you can be sure to reduce discrimination against those within the community. Make sure to address your prejudice, anyone else and be inclusive at all times.

To find out how Each Person can help you to create a more inclusive workplace, visit us at Eachperson.com. Also, follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest blogs and resources.

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