What can businesses do to better support and create a safe and welcoming workplace for those who may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or allies (LGBT+) in the workplace?
In the last 15 years, organisations right across all sectors have made huge strides in supporting LGBT+ employees and creating an inclusive workplace.
Originally, Cork Pride began facilitating site specific D&I training and education events at our key partners locations as part of our corporate partners bespoke suite of benefits, and those events have been hugely successful in creating an important conversation in regard to the benefit of diversity in the workplace.
The research also shows this; according to the CEO of LGBTQ workplace advocacy non-profit Out and Equal:
“Companies are urgently interested in making sure that they understand and support our community” – Erin Uritus
Top 10 tangible things you can do to demonstrate diversity in the workplace:
- Creation of LGBT+ Inclusive Policies and Practices, ensuring alignment with the Employment Equality Acts, the Equal Status Act, Safety, Health and Welfare Acts.
- Demonstrable support and sponsorship from executive leadership, the board and other senior leaders in the organisation.
- Creating an inclusive environment for all employees, including LGBT+ employees, where they can bring their true authentic self to the workplace without fear of harassment or intimidation.
- Ensure employee benefits are to include and support LGBT+ employees and families.
- D&I Training and Education, not just to tick the box or to avoid legal situations, but to truly invest in bringing diversity and inclusion to the forefront through active discussion, awareness and continuous education.
- Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), promoting not just ‘enroling’ but engagement and being an active member of the ERGs.
- Support of local LGBT+ charities and causes that support the community and events.
- Don’t make assumptions, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, don’t be afraid to ask, but most importantly, if you see or hear something that’s just not right, don’t be afraid to call it out.
- Be an ally. We’re all allies to one another in some shape or form. Let’s all support each other, that’s how we make change real.
- Set realistic D&I goals and measure your successes and failures, if you don’t know where you’re going, how can you ever expect to get there.