Celebrating Pride 2020 - Is Your Workplace LGBT+ Friendly?
With Pride Day 2020 on the 28th of June, now is the time to make your workplace more inclusive. LGBT+ employees make up a substantial portion of the workforce, but they are still not widely protected by global policies. As a business leader, you can make a true difference with these LGBT corporate initiatives.
Don't know if your workplace is LGBT friendly? Take a look at our LGBT best practices in the workplace.
Do you enforce a clear LGBT policy in the workplace?
Health and safety and maternity leave are widely recognised workplace policies, LGBT inclusion? Not so much. Since the 2010 Equality Act, companies are no longer allowed to discriminate against employees based on their sexuality or gender, but in a 2018 survey by the British government, 11% of staff experienced a negative reaction to their sexuality from colleagues.
In your policy, consider including the following:
Discrimination and abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.
Employees will not be judged professionally on their sexuality.
Gender-neutral spaces will always be provided.
Diversity training will be provided to all staff.
All communication with managers will be confidential.
Have you educated your staff?
By providing a comprehensive diversity training programme for all members of staff, you are setting the standard for inclusion in the workplace - and ensuring that offenders don't have an excuse for their actions. Such training commonly educates individuals on the terms and phrases to avoid in the workplace, while improving team cohesion between different groups. For your LGBT employees, it also proves that you are dedicated to their wellbeing.
Diversity and inclusion speakers can provide training with eloquence and passion. Their strategies are influenced by their own hurdles, which allows them to connect with audiences on a personal level. Your employees' perspective will be positively influenced by a diversity speaker, leaving them with a better understanding of the LGBT+ community.
Do you offer equal employee benefits?
You may offer maternity leave, but does it apply to Transgender employees? Your LGBT corporate initiatives should provide equal employee benefits, regardless of their sexuality. From holiday pay for religious celebrations to inclusive wellness programmes, LGBT employees must benefit from the same company perks as their heterosexual colleagues.
Do you provide gender-neutral spaces?
For transgender employees, gendered toilets can present a daily challenge. Aside from being humiliating, it can also create a point of contention between colleagues of differing opinions. By providing non-gendered toilets, or separate "gender-neutral" toilets, it sends a clear message to your workplace on your stance.
For those in the LGBT+ community, it also provides a safe space for them to use. Additionally, consider providing an alternative "break-out" zone where employees can discuss sensitive topics confidentially, with a trained internal expert. Your workplace should be a safe space for those in the LGBT community, allowing for peace of mind.
How To Make Your Workplace LGBT+ Friendly
One of the most successful ways to encourage acceptance and understanding for the LGBT+ community, is to book an LGBT+ speaker. At Champions Speakers, we boast some of the best LGBT+ speakers available to book, whose story of dismantling stereotypes and overcoming discrimination inspires audiences.
Many recognise Gareth Thomas as an extraordinary rugby star, but he is also a pioneer of the LGBT+ community. He has dedicated his off-pitch career to rewriting stereotypes, and was celebrated as the 2009 Most Influential Gay Person in the UK by The Independent on Sunday Pink List. When booked for events, he uses his story to inspire a new perspective in his audience, encouraging understanding for their LGBT colleagues.
Once one of the most famous British boxing promoters, Kellie Maloney has since added "transgender activist" to her influential life story. Since coming out in 2014, she is using her platform to break down stereotypes surrounding the trangender society. Kellie's diverse career has led to her being named both the 2009 Boxing Promoter of the Year and the 2015 Transgender Champion by the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, a testament to her society-shifting insight.
As the first female to win an Olympic boxing medal, Nicola Adams is overcoming not just her opponents, but sexual discrimination too. Described as a "truly influential athlete", she was listed in the 2013 Pink List for her pioneering work as an openly LGBT+ athlete. As a speaker, Nicola retells her inspiring story for captivated audiences.
Comedian and political activist, Sandi Toksvig, is the co-founder of the Women's Equality Party and advocate for LGBT+ awareness. Through her classic wit, which was awarded the Political Humorist of the Year at the Channel 4 Political Awards, Sandi resonates with audiences from all backgrounds. She empowers LGBT+ audiences, while inspiring understanding heterosexual allies.
As the first female CEO of Lloyd's of London in its 328 year history and bisexual business leader, Inga Beale is dismantling more than one social structure with her highly successful career. She was the first woman and openly bisexual individual to be listed first in the 2015 OUTstanding & FT Leading LGBT Executive Power List. Audiences of Inga's speeches are inspired to overcome hurdles in their own lives, and be role models for the next generation.
To find out more about Inga's incredible career, see our post.
Olympic swimming legend, Mark Foster, is an inspiring gay athlete redefining stereotypical masculinity. After coming out as homosexual, he now uses his platform at the peak of British sport to positively influence people's perception of the LGBT+ community, in particular, for corporate audiences. By coming to terms with his own sexuality, Mark is inspiring audiences across the country to do the same.