One Equal World

How To Make Your Office More LGBT-Friendly

Posted on: December 26, 2015

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Support for diversity at work is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. If you’re planning to advocate for LGBT fairness in your workplace, find out how you can ensure your own protection while you work towards equality. Below are a few ways you can help make your office more LGBT-friendly.

Recruiting the LGBT community
Depending on where your company is located, many cities in the U.S. offer programs where people can post jobs online where LGBT people are looking for jobs. There are also ways for companies to connect with the community if you’re recruiting through universities. Selisse Berry, founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit that works with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to achieve LGBT workplace equality, recommends seeking out industry-specific professional groups such as Reaching Out MBA, a group for LGBT MBA students.

“Make sure recruiters are well-trained and the collateral they’re presenting expresses clearly that your company is a welcoming company and has a non-discrimination policy for sexual orientation and gender identity,” says Berry.

Create an LGBT resource group
Many companies have resource groups, such as an African American resource group or women employees network. If you don’t, talk to your supervisors about what you’re trying to accomplish with a LGBT resource group and make sure they understand why it’s important to you and the community. Consider starting one to raise the importance of your cause and to seek out supporters. LGBT employee resource groups are a great source of information and can provide contacts with other employees experiencing similar issues.

Update your policies and stick with them

Does your business currently have a non-discrimination or equal opportunity policy? Many Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation and gender identity within their equal opportunity statements typically found in employee handbooks and code of conduct. If not, it may be a good idea to consult with your company’s attorney about updating your policies to include LGBT issues.

If you’d like your business to encourage workplace equality, providing up-to-date sensitivity training to make employees more LGBT-aware can reinforce your non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.

Do you have any further guidance on advocating for LGBT-inclusive policies and practices at your work? Let us a comment below!

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