Last updated: July 12, 2023
LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace
When people feel included, they will feel a sense of belonging which not only creates a more positive working environment, but also drives increased performance as well as building team morale amongst colleagues.
The below guidance outlines why inclusion is important, and how you can make sure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) colleagues are fully included in the workplace.
If you’re looking for help to transform your workplace to be inclusive of the LGBT+ community, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is inclusion in the workplace important?
LGBT+ awareness and inclusion are fast becoming a priority for organisations of all sizes across the UK.
By ensuring that LGBT+ people feel involved, valued, and respected and when the organisation has strong diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI, usually referred to as EDI) policies in place, it will encourage LGBT+ people to not only be their true selves, but also create a sense of belonging in the workplace and amongst colleagues.
What is an inclusive workplace?
An inclusive workplace welcomes and supports everyone as well as recognising their differences with the goal of making sure all employees are comfortable being who they are (whether that is their sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, race, religion, age, or disability).
What are the benefits of an inclusive workplace?
The positive impact of inclusion is not debatable – it is a fact that when employees feel safe and recognised for who they are, they will be happier.
Other benefits of an inclusive workplace include:
- Reduced stress.
- Stronger employee relations.
- Increased job satisfaction.
- Feeling valued.
- Improved job performance and productivity.
- Reduced absenteeism.
- A healthier work environment.
The benefits of LGBT+ inclusion extend beyond improving employee satisfaction as inclusion also positively benefits the workplace and company.
How can I make my workplace more inclusive for LGBT+ people?
Change starts with you – even the smallest suggestion or call for change can start a huge transformation in a workplace. Things to consider include:
Ensure your workplace policies are inclusive of LGBT+ people
From family and leave to pensions and health policy, you can call on your employer to explicitly mention how they affect your LGBT+ colleagues.
Encourage the implementation of LGBT+ policy
This could include specific policy on LGBT+ inclusion and awareness training or the use of gender pronouns in email signatures to support your transgender, intersex and non-binary colleagues.
Set up an LGBT+ network
By setting up a network specifically for LGBT+ colleagues and allies, you can effectively collaborate with your colleagues and employer on what you can do to make your workplace more inclusive.
Engage with LGBT+ colleagues
If you aren’t LGBT+, it is vital to put the voices of your LGBT+ colleagues at the forefront of what you do – simply asking them what they would like to see changed or implemented will help you to start making the necessary changes.
Encourage colleagues to become LGBT+ allies
With LGBT+ workers more likely to experience discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace, it is vital that as many people as possible stand together and raise awareness of the issues that LGBT+ people experience.
Click here to find out more about the importance of being an LGBT+ ally in the workplace.
Use inclusive language
By using inclusive language, you are recognising that words matter and that words can (intentionally or unintentionally) include or exclude others. For example, using neutral words relating to gender identity or sexual orientation.
Get your employer involved
Big change starts from the top – by getting your employer involved, you can enact real lasting change. Your employer also has a vital part to play in making the workplace more inclusive and listen to employee concerns and considerations.
Remember, when employees feel included, their productivity and satisfaction increases, which in turn will positively benefit your employer and the business.
Celebrate your achievements
Change doesn’t happen overnight – LGBT+ inclusivity is an ongoing journey, so even just implementing an LGBT+ friendly policy, or hearing from a colleague that the work you’re doing is positively benefiting them is a huge achievement.
Become a Community Equalities Rep
By becoming a Community Equalities Rep, you will send a clear message that LGBT+ people are not only welcome in your workplace, but will play a direct role in enacting vital equalities policy and champion the rights of underrepresented workers to ensure they are not left behind. Full training and support will be provided.
If you need help or advice, please contact us at email@example.com or on 0800 389 6332.
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