What firms can do to be more inclusive

Inclusivity in the workplace is essential to have a happy and friendly work environment for everyone, no matter their gender, race, religion, beliefs, or sexuality. It is important to understand the impact of discrimination within any environment including companies. We are going to look at the LGBTQ+ community, what this means, and how to make the workplace more inclusive.

What is LGBTQ+

LGBTQ+ is an acronym meaning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning and more such as Intersex, Asexual, Non-binary, etc. It is used to describe a community of people who identify as one or more of these terms. To learn more about the meaning of each of these identities, please read here: https://mindout.org.uk/mindouts-lgbtq-glossary/

The importance of representation

Representation is important for people to feel heard and be comfortable in their own skin. Seeing others who are like them, come from similar backgrounds, or share their experiences can make them feel less isolated and alone. Moreover, representation can also help break down stereotypes, feeling as though you can be part of the team without feeling uncomfortable or judged.

A group of young diverse people from the lgbtq+ community smiling together.

How you can be more inclusive in the workplace?

How can you make the workplace more inclusive? It is important to have a workspace where people feel respected. A good way of actioning this is having a network or community for people to be themselves and speak openly without the fear of discrimination. This can be done in support groups or having meetings set aside to talk about subjects like this.

Gender Pronouns, Him, Her, They, Them, words in wooden alphabet letters isolated on background
  • Using their correct pronouns. This can be written at the end of peoples’ emails, or when they introduce themselves verbally, as well as other content, such as videos. This gives everyone the opportunity to define their identity in order for other colleagues to respect. To learn more about pronouns: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/equality-diversity-inclusion/equality-areas/lgbtq-equality/pronouns-work
  • Having therapy, counselling and other options that are LGBTQ+ friendly can allow people to feel as though they are being supported for their mental health and overall wellbeing.

Examples could include:

  1. Mermaids UK: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/
  2. MindOut: https://mindout.org.uk/
  3. The Proud Trust: https://www.theproudtrust.org/
  • Unisex toilets can allow people to feel safe and comfortable in their environment. Though this may not be available in all company spaces, it is important that employees feel they have the right to use the toilet that represents them.
  • Lastly, celebrating events such as Pride can ensure those who are part of the community to feel supported and understood, and overall gain a positive experience within the workplace.