Pride Month, celebrated annually in June in the United States, holds deep historical significance for the LGBTQ+ community and community allies. Its roots trace back to the Stonewall uprisings that took place in New York City in June 1969, which ignited a transformative movement for equality and liberation. Beyond parades and festivities, Pride serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for inclusivity and equality that extends to the workplace. Though specific dates and events may differ, several countries around the globe, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, and Germany, recognize and celebrate Pride during the month of June.
While progress has been made and Pride serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community, both within and beyond the workplace, we cannot overlook the persistent erosion of LGBTQ+ rights in many parts of the world. In countries and regions where anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies persist, organizations operating globally and striving for engagement, productivity, and success must navigate these challenges effectively to prioritize inclusivity.
According to Deloitte’s 2022 LGBTQ+ Inclusion @ Work: A Global Outlook survey, LGBTQ+ employees continue to encounter non-inclusive behaviors in both physical and virtual workplaces. Specifically, the report revealed that over 80% of respondents believe they experience these behaviors more frequently than their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues. Additionally, nearly 37% of all respondents expressed active consideration of changing employers to find organizations with a more LGBTQ+ inclusive culture. These statistics underscore the imperative for workplaces to foster inclusivity, not only from a moral standpoint but also as a critical business factor. Inclusive cultures cultivate higher employee engagement, reduced absenteeism, enhanced retention rates, increased productivity, and improved profits.
Intentions matter. Simply tying the organizational desire to create diverse and inclusive cultures to the pursuit of profits or a superficial checkbox activity of meeting hiring quotas falls short of the mark. To truly foster an inclusive workplace, organizations must demonstrate a genuine willingness to listen, acknowledge, and accept the expressed lived experiences of LGBTQ+ employees and communities. To do so effectively, an unwavering commitment to ongoing education and development that fosters a culture of understanding and continuous improvement is key.
To support inclusivity, organizations, leaders, and allies must be willing to act. For those looking for tangible ways to act and promote inclusivity, we’ve got you covered:
- Establish and enforce inclusive policies: Implement comprehensive non-discrimination policies that explicitly protect LGBTQ+ employees. Policies must be communicated effectively and consistently throughout the organization.
- Provide training and education: Offer diversity and inclusion training programs from qualified and community-competent experts to raise awareness, build empathy, and promote understanding of LGBTQ+ experiences and issues. Education should be accessible and stated organizational expectation for all employees, from entry-level to executive.
- Support employee resource groups (and pay group leaders): Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or LGBTQ+ affinity groups to provide spaces for employees to connect, share experiences, and offer support. These groups can also collaborate with leadership to drive initiatives that promote inclusivity.
- Foster a culture of allyship: Encourage allies to actively support and advocate for LGBTQ+ colleagues. Allies can amplify LGBTQ+ voices, challenge discriminatory behavior, and create a more inclusive environment.
- Celebrate diversity and visibility: Recognize and celebrate Pride Month within the workplace. Organize events, workshops, or panel discussions that educate employees about the history and significance of Pride, while also highlighting the contributions and achievements of LGBTQ+ individuals. Create opportunities for LGBTQ+ employees to share their stories and experiences, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding among all staff members.
By embracing diversity, fostering an environment of acceptance, and empowering LGBTQ+ employees, organizations can not only enhance their business performance but also create a workplace where individuals can thrive authentically. Let us honor the historical struggle that gave birth to Pride by continuing to advocate for workplace inclusivity and equality.
It is time to #GetAnchored and join the movement for workplace equality.
Connect with us today to learn how we can help you create a workplace culture that is optimized for inclusion.