The start of Pride Month on June 1 is an opportunity to highlight diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and promote inclusive behaviors that enable LGBTQ+ employees to bring their authentic selves to work and more fully contribute to the organization’s success. Learning about and understanding the perspectives and experiences of LGBTQ+ employees can improve team communication and effectiveness, increase engagement and productivity and help attract and retain talent.
4 proactive ways to foster inclusive behaviors:
- Become familiar with LGBTQ+ Inclusion terminology
The acronym LGBTQ+ represents a broad spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. Using the proper terms, including preferred pronouns, shows respect and enables people to communicate and work together more effectively. Training is a valuable tool to clarify and raise awareness of LGBTQ+-related terms and concepts, and ensure that everyone stays up to date on changes.
- Seek to understand issues that impact LGBTQ+ employees
While real progress has been made over the years, for many LGBTQ+ employees, workplace issues and challenges remain, such as fear of coming out at work and hearing anti-gay jokes, comments or slurs. Research by Glassdoor found that in 2022, LGBTQ+ employees are 128% more likely to discuss discrimination and 51% more likely to discuss burnout in their company reviews on the site, compared to non-LGBTQ+ employees. Training employees and managers on microaggressions and unconscious bias raises awareness of the effects of these behaviors on individuals and work culture, and provides different ways to respond that can lead to positive change.
- Ensure that policies, benefits and practices are inclusive
Hand-in-hand with fostering inclusive behaviors is developing workplace policies, processes and benefits that are inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees and their families and comply with anti-discrimination laws. Since 2021, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are protected characteristics. This means that when it comes to any aspect of employment — such as hiring, firing and job assignments — employers are not allowed to discriminate against or harass individuals based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
- LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Allyship
As advocates for DEI, workplace allies have an important role in addressing and stopping behaviors that make LGBTQ+ employees feel they don’t belong or their ideas aren’t valued. Allyship builds empathy, trust and collaboration — factors that contribute to everyone’s growth and success. Allies are also active bystanders who know how to safely step up and intervene on behalf of LGBTQ+ co-workers who may be targets of harassing behavior.
June 1 is the start of Pride Month, an opportunity each year for organizations to encourage inclusive behaviors and allyship, and ensure that workplace policies and practices align to create a safe, welcoming culture in which LGBTQ+ employees are treated with respect, dignity and fairness.
Access a free trial of our LGBTQ+ Inclusion course: