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L&D’s role in LGBTQIA+ community’s corporate Inclusion

L&D’s role in LGBTQIA+ community’s corporate Inclusion

Learn how L&D teams can support their LGBTQ community this Pride Month

Happy Pride Month, everyone! June is known as Pride Month, which coincides with warmer weather, the start of the school year, and the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). Pride Month began as a commemorative of the Stonewall riots in New York City on June 28, 1969, and has evolved into a celebration of love, acceptance, variety, and self-pride for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.

“Stonewall represented, absolutely, the first time that the LGBT community successfully fought back and forged an organized movement and community.”

What does each letter in LGBTQIA+ mean?

The acronym for who belongs to the gay community constantly evolves, depending on the society, geographical area, or culture. We would classify LGBTQIA+ as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. The oppression they endure due to sexism and binary gender norms binds these identities together, yet the LGBTQIA+ group is diverse in originality and experience.

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.”

What are some of the most typical challenges LGBTQ community face in companies?

LGBTQ employees experience three main challenges:

  • Inclusive healthcare

    Equitable healthcare benefits include spousal/dependency benefits, access to (and reimbursement for) gender-affirming treatment, family and fertility benefits, and the availability of queer benefits providers. Saying this, employees who are from LGBTQ community should pick employment based on perks and benefits rather than fit, position, or culture. They should ensure that their employers do provide inclusive benefits packages.

  • Inclusive culture

    By implementing Inclusive culture, inclusive language, correct pronoun uses and sharing, and educating employees about the challenges LGBTQIA+ faces, LGBTQIA+ employees can feel more confident at work and have the psychological safety to do their best work. Employees who identify as LGBTQ community are more likely to experience disengagement, attrition, burnout, and chronic stress if their workplace lacks an inclusive atmosphere.

  • Inclusive system

    Creating a welcoming workplace may be achieved by providing LGBTQ employees with promotion opportunities, mentoring and coaching, non-discrimination rules, and accountability. Nevertheless, if there are no inclusive procedures, the responsibility for inclusion falls exclusively on individual employees. It’s the equivalent of expecting homophobia to go away while continuing to enforce policies and regulations that discriminate against LGBTQIA+ persons. LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training activities can help promote inclusion in the main stream.

“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”

How can L&D and HR teams ensure LGBTQ employees don’t face additional hardships at work due to their sexual orientation or identity?

A crucial part!
Benefits, training, and non-discrimination regulations are part of People Ops or HR. The HR team is also in-charge of maintaining tabs on the company’s employees, including the “minority” as a measure but instead focusing on those most affected and frequently on the margins, for e.g., the L&D team can provide the employees with LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training, Gender identity sensitivity training.

Teams should solicit input from Employee Resource Groups, receive and act on it, evaluate demographic data from Engagement Surveys, and keep track of the diversity of applicant pipelines. The HR team won’t be able to develop a truly inclusive culture unless they actively tap into the experiences of individuals with varied identities and backgrounds.

What does it mean to be an ally to LGBTQ employees?

It is not possible to label someone as an ally. The practice of inclusion is constant and deliberate. The act of being an ally does not happen by accident. In most cases, it is a regular affair. Being an ally entails undertaking reflective work or pausing to consider how our privileges and oppressions influence our interactions with society and one another.

It entails reading books, podcasts, events, articles, or shows regarding the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals. It includes learning to be more inclusive while reducing the likelihood of microaggressions. After committing a microaggression, it entails being open and sensitive to feedback. It involves stepping in to stop microaggressions. Participating in LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training, Gender identity sensitivity training and LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training activities. Finally, it encourages campaigning for LGBTQIA+ acceptance without expecting it to be recognized for it.

“An ally is anyone who supports the LGBTQIA+ community.”

How can companies celebrate Pride month? What are some resources the L&D team can leverage to support LGBTQ community?

Share resources about and by LGBTQ community. Include multiple media like documentaries, books, websites, and podcasts to support different learning preferences. Offer inclusive training such as LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training, Gender identity sensitivity training to all employees and specific training for managers and leaders.

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