Many HR and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) leaders continue to grapple with creating real inclusion and belonging at work, mainly because of the lack of relevant training. As a result, discrimination remains rife in many workplaces, especially for minority and marginalised communities.
The findings from myGwork’s latest research revealed that 6 out of 10 LGBTQ+ Generation Zers continue to be discriminated against in their place of work/study. This research echoes the results of surveys carried out by LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, people management organisation CIPD, and the UK’s biggest trade union TUC, which have all raised concerns about the ongoing discrimination experienced by the LGBTQ+ community at work.
As a result of this commonplace discrimination, the majority of LGBTQ+ professionals either return to the closet in the absence of supportive allies (7 out of 10), or much worse, they leave their jobs. In fact, two-thirds of LGBTQ+ Gen Zers entering the workplace would actually leave their job if they felt they couldn’t be out at work, and more crucially, if they lacked the support of colleagues and allies.
Although many professionals want to be an active ally to their LGBTQ+ colleagues, they struggle with effective education and know-how on how to be one. Their biggest gripe is the lack of relevant DE&I training, especially in the LGBTQ+ space. In fact, a recent LinkedIn poll, carried out by myGwork, suggests that 61% of companies don’t offer this much-needed LGBTQ+ training to their staff.
However, if organisations want to retain valuable diverse recruits and stamp out discrimination, it’s vital to create the right conditions through relevant LGBTQ+ inclusion training and education. But many HR and DE&I professionals don’t find general DE&I courses effective enough to deal with the specific challenges that marginalised communities face. To bridge this gap, we launched the myGwork Academy to deliver innovative, relevant and practical DE&I training that works.
Unlike traditional and more general corporate diversity training programmes that do little to challenge or stamp out ingrained prejudices, stereotypes and misconceptions, the modules developed by the myGwork Academy are different. The academy’s launch course, LGBTQ+ Allyship in the Workplace, for example, focuses on building an understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ+, the importance of allyship in the workplace and how this can be reflected in day-to-day actions.
The course’s ‘Co-Exist Allyship Framework and Toolkit’ puts the training into context by providing a brief overview of LGBTQ+ history and social context packed with key dates, such as the Stonewall riots, and how it marked a pivotal moment in history, to sharing how LGBTQ+ leaders, inventors and change-makers from all corners of the world have shaped the LGBTQ+ community today. It explores the benefits of addressing LGBTQ+ challenges at work, and how to identify challenges to help everyone – be they managers, leaders or colleagues – become a better ally.
The launch course also provides specific education on understanding the complex world of gender identity and expression, such as practical rules on how to use pronouns, as well as interactive exercises to help professionals put what they learn into practice through real life scenarios. The course ends with individuals making a commitment to tangible actions to help them make a real impact as an effective ally. Furthermore, employees that take the course and pass it successfully, are rewarded with a coveted DE&I certification which they can add to their CV and LinkedIn profiles, making them even more employable, as well as a better ally.
The content, developed by DE&I specialists with specific LGBTQ+ inclusion expertise, is highly interactive and practical, with relevant simulations and a variety of gamification and media to hold user engagement. myGwork Academy’s modules can also be seamlessly integrated into an organisation’s learning management systems, removing the burden of administrative set up and helping organisations focus on what matters – getting impactful training to the front line.
Employees from organisations like ResMed who have taken the training found the launch course to be “very insightful and comprehensive”. “There is a deep level of content provided by this training with regards to fostering an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ people that you cannot find in other learning offerings. The content was engaging and relevant, while providing exercises to further your understanding of what it means to be an ally,” said ResMed’s DE&I expert Fred Mora.
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