Pride month is an awesome time to celebrate LGBTQ inclusion. It’s not just about parades and parties, though. It’s about inclusion and recognizing the progress we’ve made. The pride movement has given many of us in the LGBTQI+ community the courage to be our true selves at work. It’s all about accepting and loving each other.
But you know what? LGBTQ inclusion goes beyond just celebrating Pride. With the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, there are concerns about how it might affect our rights. We used to feel safe, but now we’re worried about what other privacy issues might come up. That’s why it’s more important than ever for employees to feel safe in their workplaces.
During Pride month, you’ll see companies changing their logos and running LGBTQ-themed marketing campaigns to show support. And while that’s cool, it’s time for companies to do more than just “rainbow wash” their efforts. We need real action!
Recent reports show that LGBTQ workers pay attention to a company’s track record of equality and inclusion when deciding where to work. For example, studies by HR consulting firm Veris Insights found that:
- About 70% of LGBTQ women and 60% of LGBTQ men have left a job because they felt there wasn’t enough representation.
- 80% of LGBTQ candidates think it’s super important for a company to have an inclusive and fair workplace.
- 44% of LGBTQ candidates have felt like a company was only hiring them to meet diversity goals.
- 86% of LGBTQ students believe it’s important to feel comfortable being open about their identity at work.
- Over half of LGBTQ folks have experienced recent bouts of depression.
- 1 in 8 LGBTQ individuals have faced unequal treatment in the workplace.
A survey by job site Indeed also revealed some interesting insights from LGBTQ professionals:
- 87% of respondents checked if a company had LGBTQ inclusion before applying for a job.
- 71% looked at the company’s social media to see if they were LGBTQ-friendly.
- 61% talked to current or former employees for their perspective.
- 45% checked out the employee benefits to ensure inclusivity.
- 30% researched company leadership to see if they were LGBTQ-inclusive.
- 24% examined the company’s profile and mission to see if it matched their values.
So, how can employers create a safe space for LGBTQ employees? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Make sure company policies promote LGBTQ inclusion. It’s not enough to just have policies; they need to be enforced. Managers should have conversations with employees about what’s considered professional behavior and what’s not.
- Educate everyone about anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. And when someone violates these policies, take action! Employees should know they can report discrimination without fear of reprisal, and their reports should be kept confidential.
Creating LGBTQ employee resource groups (ERGs) is another great idea. These groups provide support, promote awareness, and create a safe space for employees with shared interests. They can organize events, offer resources, and help the LGBTQ community within the company.
Lastly, employers should ensure that their health benefits cover the specific needs of LGBTQ individuals. It’s important to provide equal access to sexual and reproductive health care, mental health support, and gender-affirming treatments.
As a member of the LGBTQ community, I know firsthand how vital a safe working environment is. So, here’s my challenge to you: If you’re a leader, be proactive in promoting LGBTQ inclusion in your organization. Call out discrimination and noninclusive behavior, and encourage your team members to bring their whole selves to work without fear of judgment.
Let’s keep those hard conversations going and lead by example. Our team members look up to us, so let’s set the standard for inclusivity and acceptance.