Fairwords Weekly: Beyond Pride Month – LGBTQ Inclusivity Through Training and Policies
June 16, 2022
“In a diverse world, we need to treat others as they would like to be treated. In order to do this, we need to know more about who they are and the background from which they come. We need to listen and understand. We need to make the unfamiliar familiar.”
— Nichelle Grant, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Siemens USA
Pride Month is dedicated to the observance and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community throughout June. And while it is a time for companies to amplify, recognize, and lift up their LGBTQ+ employees, it should also be a time to reflect on how companies promote inclusion long after Pride Month ends. LGBTQ+ inclusivity should be part of a much larger, comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy and must be present and worked on all year long. This week, we examine how to foster inclusive behavior at work through effective and modern policies and training.
According to research from The Human Rights Campaign, approximately 20% of LGBTQ+ employees have avoided their jobs or quit because they didn’t feel welcomed and accepted. These are often great employees that walked out the door because the environment wasn’t inclusive. This can and should be avoided. Companies must create opportunities to connect and create psychologically safe spaces so employees feel safe to show up as their authentic selves to do their best work. In many cases, inclusivity training can achieve this. Unfortunately, employees don’t always know how they can make the workplace inclusive and welcoming to LGBTQ+ colleagues. Learn four ways to foster more inclusive behavior during Pride Month and beyond.
In 2020, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision to bar discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers, easing a longstanding fear of retribution in the workplace. This decision gave employees who are LGBTQ+ equal protection under the law and can no longer be fired simply because of who they are or who they love. While many companies had LGBTQ+ inclusion training and policies before this decision, this change caused organizations to take a hard look at their own DEI strategies—and make the appropriate changes—because they are now held accountable by law. Employers must be sure to have clear anti-harassment and anti-discrimination standards. Managers should be trained to understand that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a form of sex discrimination. They should also ensure they know how to respond to complaints appropriately and take matters seriously.