It is officially summer! As we step into summer and into June, we also step into a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ communities. A Gallup poll found the percentage of adults in the U.S. who identify as something other than heterosexual has doubled over the last 10 years, from 3.5% in 2012 to 7.1% today. Diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging are an important part of any workplace, including your firm. One way we can show these principles is by taking action to illustrate the true measure of your company’s commitment, whether this be with staff or clients. Here are 4 ways your company can support the LGBTQIA+ communities to commemorate pride month and throughout the year.
Ways your company can support LGBTQIA+ communities
1. Use inclusive language
As many people, cultures, and races have certain language to describe themselves, the LGBTQIA+ communities are no different. They have their own language to describe who they are and the challenges they face. It is important that we learn the in’s and out’s of communication with and about these communities. The Human Rights Campaign provides a Glossary of Terms that is a great resource to reference when talking about the LGBTQIA+ communities. Another part of using inclusive language is being mindful of the preferred pronouns your staff, clients or those you interact with may go by. This provides a welcoming environment for all who are involved in your company.
2. Volunteer at your local pride events
Volunteering is a great way to put your words to action and show support as a company. Provide your staff with volunteer opportunities, as this can lead to opportunities to add diversity into their daily lives. This can be as simple as giving them time during work to volunteer, or as complex as organizing a service activity for anyone in the company to participate. Allowing for opportunities such as this, not only benefits your staff, but also shows your clients the kind of policies you have in place. There are pride events going on world-wide and all year long! Take a look at this list of some things happening around the world this year.
3. Adapt as needed
Communities are always evolving, which means adaptation is necessary to stay up to date with the changes—how can we do this? An overlooked yet important aspect of supporting these communities is doing research. Take time to learn about the LGBTQIA+ communities and raise awareness to your employees. Be mindful that there are multiple communities within LGBTQIA+. Jenn T Grace said it best in an article published in Forbes: “The bottom line is that the LGBTQ community is not one monolithic mass of people that have the same beliefs, ideals and values. Most organizations get this wrong by believing the entire LGBTQ community looks the same, acts the same and buys the same - this is the biggest misconception…” This illustrates the importance of adapting and keeping each person's individual needs in mind.
4. Create a safe workplace
A safe workplace is crucial to an enjoyable workplace for both the staff and clients. As a business it’s important to establish inclusive policies and equivalent benefits for same-sex couples. Beth A. Brooke, Board Member at eHealth, stated: “It’s important for businesses to rally behind LGBT+ employees and encourage their people to be visible, vocal and active in the communities in which they work and live.” Hiring leadership that reflects the same commitment to establishing inclusive policies will help to not only establish them but maintain them.
These 4 ways are only a start to what your company can do to support LGBTQIA+ individuals within your communities. We would love to hear from you about the things your company is doing to show your support! Let us know in the comments below.
Dominique Boud is a content marketing specialist at Canopy.READ MORE BY Dominique