Inclusivity, Inc.: Elevating the LGBTQ Employee Experience

This Pride Month, employers are continuing to learn about and support the LGBTQ community in an effort to fully embrace the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).

The topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion has been top of mind for many over the past year after the world encountered a pandemic and the U.S. experienced a shift in conversation towards social and racial justice. Workforce mobility, and the professionals who support the mobility of diverse groups of people all around the world, are primed to lead on DE&I efforts. This includes supporting the LGBTQ community and the vital employees who are a part of it, enriching the diversity of the world of work every day.

This month is Pride Month, a time to learn about and celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community while honoring the history of those who have fought for this community to live freely and without discrimination. Ignited by the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, the LGBTQ community has worked tirelessly around the world to achieve equality in marriage, life, and work.

Challenges for LGBTQ employees

As recently as 2020, certain states allowed workplaces to fire employees for their sexual orientation or gender identity; this was recently struck down in a Supreme Court ruling, providing the LGBTQ community one if its biggest victories since marriage equality in 2015. But the fact that it happened in 2020 represents that for many social justice movements, there is still more work to be done. Consider that even after the 2020 ruling on workplace discrimination, there remain gaps in such employee benefits for LGBTQ employees as healthcare offerings, parental leave, and more.

Additionally, many LGBTQ employees may not feel fully comfortable being themselves at work for fear of discrimination. According to a June LinkedIn report, 31% percent of LGBTQ people have faced discrimination or microaggressions at work, with an even higher rate (39%) for professionals aged 18 to 34. Additionally, 32% reported that their companies do not have LGBTQ resources, while 30% reported that their workplace lacks belonging. When considering that 24% of surveyed LGBTQ professionals are not out at work, these numbers could potentially be higher.

When it comes to mobility, supporting LGBTQ employees has traditionally meant having a full understanding of the laws and cultures in which an LGBTQ assignee was being placed. Rates of LGBTQ tolerance or acceptance will vary, and even as remote work becomes the norm, it remains imperative to support the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ employees no matter where they go.

Making strides toward LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion at work

At the same time, many employers are recognizing that when employees don’t feel safe enough to bring their whole, authentic selves to work, both employees and the business suffer as a result. In the April edition of Mobility magazine, the feature “Inclusivity Inc.” by Robyn Passante explores how companies have made strides in understanding, and acting upon, true inclusivity for LGBTQ employees. Hiring, unconscious bias, and even mentoring diverse talent are all arenas where employers have stepped up to support LGBTQ employees.

“While much must still be done in the areas of LGBTQ+ discrimination protections and inclusivity issues in the workplace,” writes Passante, “more organizations are realizing that fully embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion translates to a happier workforce – and a better bottom line.” This Pride Month, companies can continue building truly inclusive policies while celebrating the rich diversity of the workforce, including the LGBTQ community, and the progress made along the way together.

Continue the Conversation in the Community

Continue the conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion over in our community, and while you're there, participate in a poll on LGBTQ+ employee inclusion hosted by the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity & Equity in Action) taskforce. We want to hear from you!

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