Even though we’re generally more tolerant and accedpting of the LGBTQ community these days, they still continue to experience discrimination in the workplace.
In fact, a 2018 Human Rights Campaign study reported that 46 percent of LGBTQ workers remain closeted at work. Worse, more than half or 53 percent of the respondents reported hearing offensive jokes about their sexuality or gender identity thrown around.
Because of this, 31 percent feel unhappy or even depressed at work.
Given how remote work is potentially more inclusive, especially for the LGBTQ community, how can you create a healthier environment for everyone involved?
Here are five tangible steps to take towards the right direction:
Analyse Your Internal Biases
Your biases affect your actions.
What are your general assumptions about your employees? Do you assume that most of them are straight by default? Or do you still subscribe to the idea that LGBTQ employees dress, speak, or behave in specific ways?
Take a closer look at your personal biases and address them accordingly. If you’re unsure about how to start, seek out people across the spectrum. Connect with them and try to understand their joys and struggles. Gradually build your understanding so you can build fair policies from a place of empathy.
Set up a Comprehensive Nondiscrimination Policy
Your nondiscrimination policy shouldn’t just be inclusive. It must also be comprehensive.
When setting it up, be specific about how you expect your employees should (and shouldn’t) treat each other. You may also want to enable a system that allows people to file anonymous complaints.
Aside from providing a safe space for people to air their grievances, ensure that governing bodies properly investigate (and resolve) these complaints too.
At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words.
Train Your Leaders and Employees
Believe it or not, most people have the desire to welcome everyone and treat others with respect. They just don’t know how to do it, especially in a remote environment.
Hence, proper diversity and inclusion training is important if you have the resources for it. Provide learning experiences that expand their ways of thinking, especially when it comes to treating their LGBTQ co-workers with equality and respect.
Review Corporate Communications
Another way to create a safe workplace for LGBTQ members is to review how your organisation communicates.
What sort of language do your communications employ? Are they inclusive? Are there instances where it could display biases that might sound discriminatory towards those who aren’t necessarily heteronormative?
Communication is always a good place to begin if you want to cultivate a more inclusive culture.
If you have time, sit down and review both public and internal materials to ensure that all messages are clear and inclusive.
Ensure Equal Opportunities Regardless of Gender
One of the best ways to create a safe workplace is to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities for growth and advancement.
And diverse representation shouldn’t just stop within the company. Your website, social media, marketing materials, and even your products and services should also reflect a more inclusive bent.
After all, when you create a safe workplace, you also get to attract- and retain – best talent around, regardless of who they love and/or how they see themselves. Isn’t that a win-win?
Remote Staff has been providing assistance to AU SMEs and entrepreneurs with the help of our remote workers from the Philippines for the last 15 years and counting. We also provide onboarding assistance and continuous support to help you ensure equality and inclusivity in the workplace. Not just during Pride Month, but all year-round.