If you have been following the LGBTQ community’s victories, you probably heard of the recent ruling that protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination in the workplace. After the supreme court passed this ruling, we would expect that LGBTQ workers would be safe in their respective work environments, but there is still a lot of work to be done in building a workplace where LGBT members feel secure.
Some studies show that more than 35% of LGBT workers fear discrimination should they come out to their work colleagues. This doesn’t seem right, and if your company is interested in building an inclusive work environment for your staff, Rakuna has some tactics that could help you. But first, you need to understand the challenges most LGBTQ members face and why it is vital to embrace a friendly LGBT work environment.
With almost 46% of LGBTQ employees in the USA alone not coming out at work, you might be asking why LGBTQ employees hide their identities. Here are some reasons:
They fear sexual discrimination: A large population of people still see LGBTQ relationships as something immoral. So it’s not surprising that up to 35% of LGBT employees fear sexual discrimination when they come out. LGBT staff fear workplace harassment: 18% of LGBT employees have been the victims of bullying because of their sexual orientation. Loss of job opportunity anxiety: Even before they get a job, their sexuality could work against them. Some studies have shown that at least 20% of LGBT job seekers feel like they experienced some form of lost job opportunity due to their sexual orientation. Transgender staff abuse: As much as 90% of transgender staff have experienced mistreatment in their workplace after their outing.
These are just a few challenges stopping LGBT workers from coming out in their workplaces.
Now, if reading about some of the challenges LGBT staff face isn’t enough reason to adopt a friendly LGBTQ workplace, here are some more reasons to convince you:
Now that you have more insights into the challenges LGBT employees sometimes face, let’s look at the three tactics you can use to build an inclusive working environment effectively.
Sometimes we are oblivious to the hiring practices we have that prevent minority groups from joining our company. Your company might not be actively discriminating against the LGBTQ community, but there is such a thing as unconscious bias in a recruitment process that most minority groups face.
Here are some tips for creating a more inclusive hiring process:
Changing your hiring process to include minority groups like the LGBT community is a great step in the right direction. But what happens when LGBTQ + recruitment is complete? Do LGBT employees come into a work environment where their colleagues are sensitized on issues about them?
Train your employees on how to treat their colleagues with respect.
Some tips on sensitizing your staff:
Note that if your staff are extremely desensitized, it might take frequent sessions for them to comprehend the training fully. Take time, and be patient with them.
Lastly, within your organization, you can encourage LGBT staff to form internal networks that can help them attain mentors and build solid friendships across the various sectors of the organization. There are many big companies like Microsoft, Google, Uber, IBM, etc. who support equal rights for LGBTQ in their own way. Simmons & Simmons LLP, for example, set up an LGBTQ network in 2006. The network encompasses all its partners and employees.
With a singular aim of providing support to members of the LGBTQ community, their employees are quoted as loving the company’s supportive and friendly environment.
You can study what other big companies are currently doing to create an inclusive environment for the LGBT community and craft something for your company.
After reading this article, we believe you would see why the fight for equality in the workplace is significant. Ensuring there is inclusivity in your company is not a one-day thing. Baby steps make big changes! Let’s get started now!
This article was written by Ana Mayer, a project manager with 3+ years of experience. While projects can do without her participation (which means almost never), she likes to read and create expert academic materials for the Online Writers Rating, Best Writers Online review website. Such work gives her the opportunity to write articles on the most relevant topics of today.