With Pride Month upon us – a time which foregrounds the LGBT+ community and commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots – many workplaces are celebrating their own LGBT+ communities.
With current estimates suggesting that nine million individuals in the UK identify as LGBT+, it is imperative that HR has policies in place to include, support, and celebrate their lives, identity and work-life contributions – but what policies work best?
For starters, you need to highlight your support for LGBT+ staff. New research published in the Why Your Diversity Strategy Needs to Be More Diverse report by BCG revealed that less than four in ten LGBT+ employees consider their organisation’s senior leadership team to be committed to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). So, in order for the LGBT+ community to feel more included at work, HR should have specific policies in place to support them.
Karen Thomson, Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Fujitsu, UK&I told HR Grapevine that HR policies should reflect an organisation’s culture and empower talent. “You need to truly understand LGBT+ experiences within your organisation to make sure your policies are creating an inclusive LGBT+ workplace.
“When looking at your policies think about the language you are using. By reviewing your policies through an LGBT+ lens you can ensure that they are relevant to LGBT+ employees. For example, would same-sex parents feel that your Maternity and Paternity Policies include them? By making policies inclusive you signal to LGBT+ employees that they are an integral part of your thought process when creating policies.
“HR should also be supporting employees going through specific LGBT+ life events, such as coming out or transitioning in the workplace. By highlighting relevant guidance and providing support to employees and managers, HR will help LGBT+ employees feel welcome, comfortable and safe being completely who they are at work.”
But when it comes to putting the appropriate support networks in place, BCG findings have warned against a one-size-fits-all approach to making employees feel included. The table below, taken from the BCG report, illustrates the different D&I support mechanisms that each sector of the workforce want.