We preach diversity, equity, and inclusion. But how do we truly turn these words into action? It’s essential to practice what we preach for all diverse communities, including the LGBTQ+ community. Inclusion can be defined as feeling acceptance, belonging, intimacy, trust, and that you have influence in the workplace. Generally, it’s viewed as two-dimensional:
- Level 1: One’s own direct experience and interaction with others
- Relationship with boss
- Relationships with colleagues
- Level 2: The way one perceives their broad environment
- Relationship with the company’s policies and rules
These three relationships represent the classic organizational psychology model. By looking at each of these sectors individually, your business can identify its strengths and weaknesses.
From a company-wide perspective, it can be helpful to display supportive language and visuals on your website. This way, both prospective and current employees are exposed to the accepting nature of the company. Implementing a sponsorship program between senior employees and LGBTQ+ employees who may feel on the outside sometimes is advisable as well.
It comes as no surprise that those in power set the example for the rest of the company. Owners and managers should be careful to avoid assumptions in language. For example, asking a woman about her spouse as opposed to her husband, or even including more than two genders on the company application, sends a positive signal. The same is true on an employee-to-employee level. Monitoring one’s assumptions in language and looking for opportunities to be an active ally can make all the difference.
For assistance on workplace issues – and for training on inclusive workplace strategies – call The Coppola Firm.