How Companies Can Ally with Their LGBT+ Employees
With June rapidly approaching, your company may be getting ready to “Show its Pride.”
Pride Month is often one of celebrations—who doesn’t love a parade?—but it’s important to remember allyship is a 365-day commitment. Yes, sponsor a float in your local Pride parade and host June lunch and learns. But also ask yourself, how do we support and recognize our LGBT+ employees when it isn’t “their month”?
Here are a few things every company that wants to be an ally should be thinking about:
Go beyond compliance.
In more than half of US states, it is still legal to fire an employee for identifying as LGB. According to Out & Equal, more than half of LGBT employees report that discrimination has negatively affected their work environments.
If your diversity efforts are merely compliance based, you are not doing enough to fully include or empower your LGBT employees. At the very least, take care to clearly state and enforce anti-discrimination policies that explicitly cover LGBT+ employees and provide benefits that cover all types of partners and families.
Amplify LGBT+ visibility in your organization.
If your company doesn’t have an employee resource group for LGBT+ employees, now is an ideal time to explore creating one. These groups:
- Signal that LGBT+ employees are embraced and valued by your organization;
- Give your employees a safe space to discuss and process things happening at or outside of work that may be affecting them; and
- Can provide effective guidance to your company on how LGBT+ employees experience the culture and help influence company-wide communications, programming, and events related to LGBT+ issues.
Educate your employees about LGBT+ inclusion.
While HR and the leadership team may run point, creating a working environment where everyone feels included and is able to do their best work is every employee’s responsibility. This month, think about how you can set your people up for success when it comes to LGBT+ inclusion. This could include required trainings, panels at company-wide meetings or events, and sharing resources like Paradigm’s Trans allyship tips.
The LGBT+ community is vastly diverse, even within the acronym itself. Set the expectation that your programming recognizes, reflects, and promotes LGBT+ inclusion through an intersectional lens.
If you need any help exploring what your company is doing well and where it has room to improve when it comes to LGBT+ inclusion, I’d love to chat—email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 28, 2019