How To Truly Represent The LGBT+ Community At Your Workplace

Companies must not have a one-size-fits-all policy if they genuinely want to represent the entire spectrum.

3 min read

[This article was originally published by Accenture in their effort to implement key policies and strategies for creating a diverse and inclusive working ecosystem. It is re-published in association with The Quint as part of the #PrideAndProgress campaign.]

Diversity and Inclusion are social media’s favorite buzzwords and are mandatorily included in employer descriptions today. It has given birth to exercises that some would label as “positive discrimination”. Today organizations are actively working towards employing LGBTQ+ employees to fulfil their D&I responsibilities. But many do not create a conducive working environment where these employees can perform to the best of their abilities.

According to a 2021 study conducted by the Global HR Consulting firm Randstad India in association with Women’s Web, 44% of the 201 organizations surveyed do not yet run any gender sensitization programs. Accenture has not only taken cognizance of these gaps in the current working ecosystem. They have gone a step further, implemented some policies and are now working towards creating greater awareness on how such measures can be adopted by wider networks.

"It is the mindset that needs a paradigm shift for acceptance of people with sexual orientation diversity. Gender sensitization is one of the major agendas and this is what we keep driving through the year."
Shailaja Pradhan, head of an LGBT support group for a multinational company

Companies must work with their employees to succeed in harnessing their true potential. But it must not be a one-size-fits-all policy if the company genuinely wants to represent the entire spectrum. To create an LGBTQ+ friendly environment they must deploy a multi-pronged strategy that addresses the needs of every member across the Rainbow.

As a starting point, firms must understand the scope of the law and managers must punch above the legal minimums offered to the community. Second, every organization must have gender sensitization programs that helps educate peers and colleagues in their code of conduct. Finally, it is crucial to have a culture of learning, where policy-makers learn from the community as well as allies and have conversations, rather than taking a unidirectional approach.

This pride month, The Quint in association with Accenture brings to you a few simple and unique policies that can help you create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Counselling And A Culture Of Un-learning And Learning

Many of us are under immense stress. Some feel compelled to camouflage their identities only to blend in with their peers. Similarly, employees who have never come across diverse colleagues may have multiple questions on how to break ice with them and make them feel a part of their teams.

Companies thus must look at employing psychologists who can enable a smooth process. Trained psychologists at work advise on both of the above fronts to ensure gender sensitization is achieved so that inclusivity becomes a natural process.

Using Technology To Form Support Groups

Creating websites, mobile apps and online support groups for the differently abled and genderqueer can also help. These can serve the dual purpose of lateral networking with peers and can also act as a safe space where employees can discuss their grievances with each other.

Busting Barriers At Office Events

The best way to bust stereotypes is by educating employees about equality and acceptance. Conducting extra-curricular activities, hosting office events and networking nights will help one to get to know others in their true element. The easy-going vibe and the relaxed atmosphere of such sessions can make them feel more comfortable.

But while these exercises create opportunities and platforms whereby employees can get to know one another, how do you actually break ice? What are some other measures that you can adopt at a personal level to create an LGBTQ+ friendly workspace? Visit here to learn more.

[This article was originally published by Accenture and is re-published in association with The Quint as part of the #PrideAndProgress campaign.]

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