Successfully building an inclusive workplace goes beyond setting DEI goals and making public diversity statements. In order to truly implement inclusion and ensure that its effective, leaders need to incorporate actionable methods that encourage inclusion at every stage of the employee experience; from interviewing to day-to-day working culture, right through to offboarding.
In the spirit of Pride Month, we challenge ourselves by raising the question, what does inclusion look like in practice and how do we ensure that colleagues – regardless of their backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender etc. – are made to feel understood and valued?
Below are just a few tips that may be helpful to consider in the workplace to make progress towards inclusivity.
- Update policies
Employers should make it a priority to revisit and update their policies to be more inclusive to their LGBTQ+ employees. In addition to their policies, they should consider implementing diversity or Pride days dedicated to celebrating employee differences.
2. Communicate updated policies
Communicating updated policies, expectations and consequences often and through appropriate channels is beneficial. Its vital employees understand that harassment, discrimination, bullying, intimidation, etc… will not be tolerated.
3. Adapt current recruiting strategies
Current hiring strategies could be revisited to ensure that LGBTQ applicants aren’t excluded. Companies can evaluate the current language used in job descriptions and replace any gender coded terms with neutral language.
4. Hire an inclusivity specialist
It is not the job of the employee to educate their co-workers. Companies can hire consultants that identify as gay or trans to review training materials and make sure that the company is promoting the right messages in the right way.
5. Be an ally
Allyship is an unconditional willingness to act with and for others, especially for marginalised groups of people. It is important to educate yourself about various identities and experiences of marginalised groups and be aware of some of the biases that you may have. Another important aspect to remember is that allyship is about providing genuine, active and continuous support for groups that suffer from discrimination; it’s not enough to just talk about injustices without addressing them head on if they happen.
Words by Tracy Iqbal Director of People Operations