• Sara Zellner

Foster an Inclusive Workplace for LGBTQ Employees

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a core tenet of corporate responsibility programs. Businesses that embrace DE&I are rewarded financially and solve problems more quickly.



To that end, the adoption of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)-inclusive workplace policies can have a strong effect on companies’ performance and productivity. Companies that incorporate LGBT-inclusive practices into their workplace cultures tend to improve their financial standing and do better than companies that do not adopt them. And employees, regardless of their LGBTQ status, express greater job satisfaction at companies with those practices.


Ways to Incorporate LGBTQ-Inclusive Practices in the Workplace

There are several steps that your company can take to maximize its LGBTQ-inclusive practices:

  • Be authentic in your LGBTQ-inclusive practices: It’s not enough to put up a rainbow flag during Pride month. Show that LGBTQ inclusion lives at the heart of your mission through your communications and programs.

  • Cultivate relationships with LGBTQ employees: Provide leadership on LGBTQ-inclusive practices and build relationships with LGBTQ employees in the workplace through employee resource groups and the engagement of straight allies in company LGBTQ-inclusive efforts. Senior management should be involved in promoting inclusion whenever possible.

  • Promote engaging discussion to help all employees understand the benefits of their LGBTQ-inclusive practices: Recognize that not all employees need to arrive at the same conclusions around LGBTQ workplace inclusion, but they do need to be respectful of company decisions on the issue.

  • Create internal committee/strategy to evaluate when to take action on public policy: To demonstrate external support on LGBTQ issues, develop systems to evaluate how and when to take a public stance. Alternatively, employee resource groups can partner with government affairs to more effectively advocate on LGBTQ issues externally.

  • Interact with stakeholders who do not support your company’s LGBTQ stance: Not all stakeholders are receptive to a company’s LGBTQ-inclusive practices. Have productive discussions on the topic by addressing divergent opinions thoughtfully while reiterating your positions of LGBTQ support.

For more insights and case studies on how companies can succeed in incorporating LGBTQ inclusivity into the workplace, download our newly released report, “Business Success and Growth Through LGBT-Inclusive Culture.”

Incorporating Inclusion
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