June is Pride Month - meant to recognize and honour the experiences and history of the LGBTQ+ community and we love seeing workplaces show their support. We’d also like to challenge business owners to think beyond this month and commit to ways you can make your workplace more inclusive for LGBTQ+ people and other equity-deserving individuals.
Here are 5 simple ways you can get started:
1. Provide educational opportunities so leaders and employees can learn more about the history and context behind celebrations like Pride Month: leaders play an important role in establishing your workplace culture and need to be modelling the behaviours of inclusion that you expect from employees. The best way to ensure leaders and employees in your organization are aware of inclusive behaviours and help develop their empathy is by providing them with training opportunities on these topics. This can be as simple as watching educational videos on YouTube and discussing how you could make improvements in your workplace with this information, or hiring a facilitator (shameless plug - our Leadership Program covers topics like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace).
2. Review the language used in workplace policies, procedures, and any other official communications: remove any gendered language from your workplace documents such as job descriptions or handbooks, and review your policies with different perspectives in mind, or solicit input from others to make improvements.
3. Create a safer workplace for employees to show up as their authentic selves: this can look like encouraging pronoun usage, ensuring your policies show acceptance of all religions and gender identities, creating safe spaces such as gender-neutral washrooms, and rooms that can be utilized to meet employee needs, such as lactation rooms for new parents, or prayer space for employees.
4. Incorporate questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion into your recruitment processes: during the hiring process we recommend asking questions aligned with your DEI values to assess if someone is a culture-add to your team, and open to working with all different nationalities, skin colours, genders and sexual orientations (this is also covered in more detail in our Leadership Program)
5. Create a task force focused on inclusivity: this group of employees can work together to identify areas your workplace can be more inclusive and make suggestions to leadership. We recommend setting some parameters for this, such as a budget to work within. This will help the group feel more empowered rather than proposing ideas that fall outside of their scope, which could prevent them from being implemented. If a task force doesn’t seem feasible, ensure you are asking for employee input in making your workplace more inclusive.
Looking for support in making your workplace more inclusive? Get in touch with us!