Though this year’s Pride Month is a great opportunity to champion workplace equality, your approach to fair representation must be a constant – now and every month. Yet with the barriers of a remote-working world, how can employers continue to rally awareness that truly goes the distance? As leadership teams seek to rebuild and redefine company values, the LGBTQ+ community must continue to feel heard through times of change – whatever the future may hold.
Celebrating diversity, inclusivity and self-identity, Pride represents communities around the world with a shared vision of equal rights and opportunities for all. For the majority of businesses wishing to show their support, flying the flag is a start. But when it comes to driving impactful change, it’s the everyday policies and processes that will ultimately empower LGBTQ+ employees in the long-term.
During Pride month and beyond, we explore 5 ways employers can champion workplace equality.
1. Evaluate your discrimination and diversity policies
Strong businesses both lead by example and learn from their people. It is therefore crucial for SMBs to ensure their diversity and discrimination policies champion their core values. Businesses thrive on innovation, and one of the best ways to champion workplace equality is by bringing people together who see and walk this world differently; particularly those of different genders, races and sexualities. Celebrating people’s differences and supporting their various viewpoints sets a standard for all employees that is founded on respect.
Furthermore, reviewing existing policies and complaint procedures shows an awareness of any underlying implicit bias. Though often unintentional, people from different backgrounds continue to receive disproportionate prejudice in the workplace. Whether from clients, colleagues or even during the hiring process. Protecting LGTBQ+ employees by constantly monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of company policies is therefore integral to an inclusive workplace.
2. Host an inclusion workshop
Another way to champion workplace equality is by holding an Inclusivity Workshop. Benefiting both LGTBQ+ employees and their colleagues, these hands-on sessions highlight common issues, biases and misused terminology often seen in the workplace and the wider world. Held by external speakers, such training programs empower whole workforces by sharing relatable experiences from an outside perspective. They also provide a safe space for all employees to discuss the correct pronouns and ask questions.
Guest speakers with experience overcoming discriminatory adversity in the workplace can also inspire LGBTQ+ employees to embrace their own outlooks. This only helps to bring bigger, bolder ideas to the table. Ultimately, it also enables individuals to flourish within their career.
3. Incorporate unconscious bias training for managers
Employees look to their senior team to champion workplace equality. This is especially true when it comes to being inclusive, particularly for workers who are afraid of using the wrong terminology or unintentionally offending an LGBTQ+ colleague. It is essential therefore to offer adequate training for managers that not only covers the basics, but also empowers them to be positive spokespeople for the company and their peers.
Giving leaders the tools to identify unconscious bias and understand the root of how and why decisions are made will equip them for everyday situations. This equips them to better address discrimination, whether intentional or subconscious, in an appropriate and effective manner. Managers should be aware that this may include challenging their own beliefs and taking the necessary steps to become more educated and empathetic towards the LGTBQ+ community.
4. Run an LGBTQ+ charity fundraiser
Want to champion workplace equality? Actions speak louder than words. Therefore, Pride Month is a brilliant opportunity to host or support a fundraiser that champions the LGTBQ+ community. Further to your online marketing, which might include the addition of a rainbow flag to your company logo or website, people ultimately want to see companies standing behind their employees and supporting what matters most to them. Fundraise for a local cause, donate to a charity that has supported a colleague, or start your own company initiative. Unable to financially invest? Rally employees together for an afternoon of volunteer work or dedicate time to awareness-raising activities.
As long as your company approaches Pride initiatives thoughtfully, the LGTBQ+ community is likely to value your good intentions and genuine gestures.
5. Celebrate in style!
Finally, have fun this Pride Month. It is a celebration, after all!
From bunting to flags, to encouraging colorful clothing; companies that inspire their employees to express more of their ‘out-of-office-hours’ personalities are likely to flourish. Ask colleagues to nominate a song for your Pride Month playlist and play it loud and proud around the office. Encourage employees to whip up a rainbow storm with cakes and savory bakes for a Pride-style potluck. With friendships formed and respect shared throughout the workforce, colleagues will feel seen, heard and more comfortable to suggest bolder ideas that catapult the business forward; creating improved job satisfaction in the long run!
HR that champions equality
Like your workplace values, ADDA Infusion aligns with your business to champion best practice; supporting leaders in fostering an inclusive workforce that is safe for everyone. From full-service HR to on-demand projects as and when you need us, our solutions are always bespoke to your business vision.
Contact our team to find out how we can help!