03 Jun 2024

How To Make Your Business More Inclusive This Pride Month

As we enter June, we enter the month of Pride, a lively testament to the LGBTQ+ community’s strength, challenges, and triumphs, but with over 76% of LGBTQ+ employees saying they have hidden their identity at work, businesses clearly have a long road ahead. Pride month presents a timely opportunity for businesses to reassess their inclusivity initiatives and seek avenues to foster a warmer atmosphere for all, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. So, let’s explore actionable approaches to enhance your business’s inclusivity not only during Pride Month but well into the future.

It’s time to educate yourself and your team! Understanding LGBTQ+ terminology, issues, and experiences is fundamental to fostering inclusivity. Encourage your team to engage in training sessions, workshops, or discussions led by experts or members of the LGBTQ+ community. Platforms like PFLAG, GLAAD, or local LGBTQ+ organisations often offer valuable resources and guidance.

It’s time to review your businesses policies and benefits. Take a critical look at your company policies to ensure they are LGBTQ+-friendly. This includes non-discrimination policies, healthcare benefits that cover gender-affirming treatments, and inclusive language in all communications. Review your hiring practices to ensure they are bias-free and welcoming to LGBTQ+ candidates.

Create safe spaces. Every employee should feel safe and respected at work. Establishing clear anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies sends a strong message of support. Designate gender-neutral restrooms and provide resources for LGBTQ+ employees, such as support groups or access to counselling services.

Celebrate diversity. Pride Month offers an excellent opportunity to celebrate diversity within your organisation. Host Pride-themed events, invite LGBTQ+ speakers to share their experiences, or organise volunteer activities with LGBTQ+ charities. By actively participating in Pride celebrations, you demonstrate your commitment to inclusion.

Amplify the voices of LGBTQ+. Elevate the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals within your company and industry. Provide opportunities for them to take on leadership roles, speak at conferences, or contribute to company publications. Representation matters and seeing LGBTQ+ individuals in positions of influence can inspire others and foster a sense of belonging.

Support various LGBTQ+ causes. Show your support for the LGBTQ+ community beyond Pride Month by partnering with LGBTQ+ charities, sponsoring Pride events, or donating to organisations that advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Consider matching employee donations to LGBTQ+ causes to amplify the impact of your support.

Listen and learn. Cultivate a culture of openness and inclusivity by actively listening to the concerns and feedback of LGBTQ+ employees. Conduct anonymous surveys or establish channels for employees to share their experiences and suggestions for improvement. Use this feedback to inform your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Lead by example. As a leader, your actions speak volumes. Lead by example by demonstrating inclusive behaviour, challenging bias, or discrimination when you encounter it, and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights both within and outside the workplace. Your commitment to inclusivity sets the tone for the entire organisation.

Adrian Lewis, the Commercial Director of Activ People HR, a prominent Welsh HR software company, shares his insights on cultivating a more inclusive workplace environment:

“I believe it’s imperative for businesses to take proactive steps in creating an inclusive workplace environment. This involves providing education and training, reviewing policies, and celebrating diversity.”

Lewis continues,

“Utilising HR software such as Activ People HR can assist HR professionals in fostering an inclusive workplace environment. This includes features like offering updated training materials to educate staff on diversity and inclusion, along with outlining essential procedures for both the business and its employees. By nurturing a culture of respect and elevating diverse voices, we can guarantee that each employee feels appreciated and empowered to share their distinct viewpoints.”

Making your business more inclusive this Pride Month requires intentional effort, education, and ongoing commitment. By embracing diversity, creating safe spaces, and amplifying LGBTQ+ voices, you can cultivate a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to be their authentic selves. Let’s celebrate Pride Month not just with rainbow flags and parades, but with tangible actions that create lasting change. Together, we can build a more inclusive world for all.