it’s the pride month and we are still here talking about how we can make this month an all-year thing. it shouldn’t just be about companies using pride month as a marketing tool. words can only go so far. a 2020 report shows that only 1 in 3 employers in the United states of America have initiatives and policies that prioritize diversity and inclusion. many companies are not able to assimilate people from various backgrounds and gender identities.
we believe that small changes in language and behaviour can open up doors for diverse individuals to feel more included in the workplace. here are a few ways that companies can follow to make their workplace more LGBTQ inclusive:
make your language more inclusive
like we mentioned earlier, being mindful of the language makes a huge difference, especially during the recruitment process. evaluate the job descriptions and replace any gender-coded language with neutral terms. this immediately sends a message that the company has put in the effort to change its course. even in other areas, companies and employers need to bring in more gender-neutral terms. to give an example: instead of saying “ladies and gentlemen” while addressing your employees, you can say “valued employees or dear employees”.
update your policies and give inclusive benefits
revisit your policies and see if they are inclusive to your LGBTQ employees. you can also ensure giving more benefits packages so that the LGBTQ employees can feel more supported. for example, little things like replacing terms like mother and father to parent or guardian can make a lot of difference. it is also crucial to impose a strict zero-tolerance harassment policy so no employee is under the impression that their behaviour will be tolerated.
set up workshops and seminars to educate employees
no LGBTQ employee is obligated or responsible to educate their co-workers on how to behave in an inclusive workplace. the leadership should take up the charge in hiring inclusivity specialists and ideally, it should be someone who identifies as an LGBTQ person. this specialist can then review all the training and HR documents to make sure the company is using the right language and sending the right message. the management also needs to organize training on LGBTQ inclusion and include this aspect when other discrimination and sexual harassment workshops are organized.
in the end, it is all about creating a safe space for every individual in a workplace. whether they are your employee or co-worker, the change only begins when everyone is on board. if you feel that bringing such positive changes will lead to some turnover then it shouldn’t be a problem because it will help the company get rid of people who are not interested in creating an inclusive environment and are not aligned with the company’s ethos.
these are not the only things that companies can do but this will definitely start the process of creating a more inclusive space.
what do you think about these points? tell us your opinion and suggestions and write to us on Instagram @liveaastey.
until next time, take care.
live aastey. happy pride.