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How to create a safe workplace to support LGBTQ+ employees

We all want to live in a world where everyone is free to live, love, and work without discrimination. To help Americans realize this dream, the Supreme Court in June 2020 declared that any unfairness or discrimination in the workspace stemming from an employee's gender identity would be considered an offence.

With such laws in effect, one might think that the LGBTQ+ community has today gained the ground of equal rights in America, but the reality of the matter remains that members of the community still find themselves on the receiving end of unfair treatment in different scenarios - the workplace among them. Do you know that research estimates that almost 46% of LGBTQ+ employees have not yet revealed their sexual orientation to their employers and co-workers for fear of discrimination? This goes to show that we still have very few workplaces, not just in America but across the globe, that are able to create an atmosphere of welcome acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. The same study also says that the companies that give equal say and an environment conducive to innovation and creativity, advocating the power of authenticity at work, are able to foster growth of LGBTQ+ employees both professionally and personally.

We must create a truly human environment for employees to provide a comfortable space to talk out the challenges and stress they may be going through.

Now let's understand the key strategies we can take to create an LGBTQ+ friendly workspace:

Guide with empathy

The LGBTQ+ employees today are at the receiving end of criticism and rejection from workplaces. We must acknowledge the concern of LGBTQ+ employees' mistreatments. The company should always have a separate anti-discrimination policy to protect LGBTQ+ employees. It not only boosts their trust but their willingness to be productive enough.

No delays in dealing with the discrimination

You’ve heard about discrimination in your workplace? Act upon it. The longer it takes to discipline the employees who fail to treat their LGBTQ+ co-workers equally, the more it encourages them to treat it as an accident but not an intended action. The delay in such situations makes the victim employee lose trust in the company and damages their mental stability. The delayed action could mean a lot to the victim and the doer. It makes them doubt the organisation’s capability to maintain work decorum and professionalism. This will also result in a lack of potential employees in the organisation in the long run.

Promote the inclusivity

Equality and inclusion have shown significant growth in businesses. According to a survey from the advertising agency Ogilvy, nearly half of all Americans and 64 per cent of those who identify with the LGBTQ community say they are more likely to spend money with brands that are LGBT inclusive. So, let the world know about the company's inclusivity concerning LGBTQ+ employees. It attracts the laid LGBTQ+ employees and encourages other workplaces to do so. Your company can also show their support for the LGBTQ community by participating in and organising community events that support the community, such as a local gay pride parade.

Educate more yourself and others about it

The onus of being an employee is equal to the employers. Being a part of the company makes you equally responsible for learning about the struggles for LGBTQ rights. You can start organising events to educate people about it but also make sure you are normalising its interactions. Because no matter how forward-thinking one may be, individuals sometimes unintentionally have blind spots to sensitive issues like this. Organising events to avoid such blind spots, so you directly engage with the community is invaluable.

LGBTQ rights and equality has notably increased in almost 2 decades now. Most of the companies in America hold a considerable amount of power in shaping the opinions of people in concerns like this. As we embrace positive changes by working together towards equality and inclusivity, we can make our workplaces a better place to work for everyone. Recruitometry is proud of every such company that strives to protect LGBTQ+ employees and encourage others to do so too.