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Inclusivity & Wellbeing in the Workplace Q1 2024

Five tips to build workplace inclusion beyond LGBT+ History Month

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Robbie de Santos

Director of External Affairs, Stonewall

LGBT+ History Month may have just passed, but we should keep the spirit alive all year round. Whether at home or in the workplace, foster a safe supportive environment for all.

In the workplace, LGBTQ+ people still face significant barriers. Our research shows that 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ people have experienced barriers to progression at work, 1 in 8 still don’t feel able to disclose their identity to their colleagues and 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ job searchers felt discriminated against.

Why workplace inclusion is important

Supporting LGBT+ History Month and Pride fosters positivity, but genuine workplace inclusivity requires leaders to meaningfully address staff needs, creating a safe space where individuals can express themselves, unleash creativity and realise their full potential.

Employer support is vital during key life moments — whether for a lesbian couple needing time off for IVF, a gay man adding his husband to ‘death in service’ benefits or a trans colleague contemplating time off for a medical transition. Below are some tips to show genuine support.

1. Have inclusive policies

Ensure your company has clear rules against discrimination and harassment and that LGBTQ+ people’s lives and relationships are reflected in policies like family leave. Clear guidelines supporting employees who are transitioning can also make a huge difference.

2. Proudly spread the word

Let jobseekers know that your workplace is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ people. Proudly showcase your inclusive ethos and practices in your job ads — they may encourage more candidates to apply.

Work with senior leaders to
keep the conversation going
authentically throughout the year.

3. Offer training and development

Ensure all employees understand that your company is committed to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Help people understand how they can effectively include their LGBTQ+ coworkers and clients. Provide training and development to ensure consistency across your organisation.

4. Engage senior support

Work with senior leaders to keep the conversation going authentically throughout the year. Encourage them to champion inclusion initiatives and provide a platform for LGBTQ+ colleagues to share their stories throughout the year.

5. Build an empowering community

Nurture LGBTQ+ employee resource/network groups — spaces where colleagues can connect and support each other. It’s a great way to encourage peer support on diverse challenges and experiences.

Stonewall has aided numerous firms and public organisations to support LGBTQ+ staff, customers, clients and partners. The Stonewall Diversity Champions programme provides sector-specialist support, tailored strategy planning and transformative inclusion practices.

Let’s build on the momentum from LGBTQ+ History Month and continue building inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive.

Discover more about Stonewall here.

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