Furthering LGBTQ+ Inclusion at Work
Every June, LGBTQ+ Pride is commemorated in countries around the world. It’s a month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and honor its history, as well as continue to fight for the rights of and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual people.
In 2023 in the United States, that fight for equal rights remains critical. In the first five months of this year alone, there’s been an abhorrent rise in legislation seeking to criminalize basic human rights for LGBTQ+ people. According to the Human Rights Campaign:
- More than 540 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in state legislatures (more than each of the previous five years);
- More than 220 bills target transgender and non-binary people — a record; and
- 45 anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted so far this year.
In May 2023, alone, we saw Florida and Texas pass bills that seek to criminalize everything from trans people accessing restrooms to Pride events to healthcare. The NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign have both issued travel advisories for Florida, saying the State is increasingly hostile to the LGBTQ+ community.
In the face of this discrimination and threats to LGBTQ+ people’s rights, safety, and sense of inclusion in the U.S., one would hope work could be a refuge. Sadly, when we look at aggregated data from our employee inclusion surveys, which represent 30,000+ people across industries, we found that LGBTQ+ employees have a less favorable experience than heterosexual employees across all themes of inclusion.
In particular, LGBTQ+ employees felt less favorably than heterosexual employees when it came to perceptions of fairness, commitment to diversity, and belonging:
- There was a -14 percentage point gap between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual employees around the question “To what extent do people from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed at your company?”
- There was a -10 percentage point gap between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual employees around the question “To what extent does your company value diversity?”
- There was an -8 percentage point gap between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual employees around the question “To what extent can you be your authentic self at work?”
With that in mind, this Pride, organizations should focus on how they can create environments where LGBTQ+ employees feel included and supported. A few things to consider:
- The attacks on trans people have become even more visible this year, and the community needs allies at work and beyond. Our Paradigm Reach platform has resources like an Understanding Trans Identity microlearning and a downloadable Pronoun Primer. This blog from our expert Kevin Pearson dives into how organizations can advance trans people in leadership. And the four-part Trans Inclusion series from Dr. Tash Wilder below covers everything from understanding sex vs. gender to tips for allyship and inclusion:
- With fundamental rights like marriage for all LGBTQ+ people under attack in some States, companies can provide a safety net by expanding their benefits. For more details, check out this post from Paradigm’s Ally Ruiz Balcerzak and Blix Couglin here.
- Be sure the ways you recognize Pride in your organization advances, not undermines inclusion. Watch our recent webinar on demand for tips!
May 31, 2023