This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Pride movement in the UK! Events are taking place throughout the month celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and raising awareness of the issues it is facing. UK Pride will culminate on July 2nd with London Pride, which returns for the first time since 2019 and tops this year’s list of global Pride celebrations. In 1972, around 2,000 people marched together in support of LGBTQ+ rights; approximately 1.5 million now march in London Pride!
On this landmark anniversary, standing in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community means honouring its remarkable progress toward diversity and equality. Thanks largely to the efforts of advocacy and support organisations, record strides have been made in the workplace and in leadership roles. Yet, many LGBTQ+ people still face discrimination, harassment and bullying at work. Employers are becoming increasingly cognisant of the importance of enforcing a clear Equality and Diversity policy to create an environment of safety, sensitivity, inclusion and belonging. This is the foundation of true employee engagement, and the key to workplace synergy, optimised productivity, and wellbeing.
- Nearly 1 in 5 employees who identify as LGBTQ+ have been the target of a negative comment or conduct at work (Employee Benefits, 2022)
- More than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination (LGBT in Britain – Work, 2018)
- Employees are 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work when they trust they will be treated fairly, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or age (Great Place to Work, 2021)
What is the most effective way for employers to infuse their workplace with diversity and inclusion?
To begin, it is important to understand that I&D are distinct yet complementary elements. Strategising how to maximize both is key to building a safe, equitable work culture!
Employing people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, etc.
How to Achieve:
Focus on inclusive recruitment strategies:
- Write neutral job descriptions
- Avoid overly gendered language
- Diversify where your company sources applicants
Ensuring that your diverse workforce is involved, empowered, integrated, and respected.
How to Achieve:
- Make sure your Equality and Diversity policy is comprehensive and up to date
- Encourage frequent check-ins
- Give employees multiple ways to provide feedback, discuss workplace challenges (particularly those of a sensitive nature), and raise concerns and report incidents of workplace harassment in a secure and confidential manner
- Create safe spaces (such as gender-neutral restrooms) and inclusive digital environments (e.g., invite the addition of pronouns to usernames and email signatures)
- Plan work events and initiatives that celebrate inclusion (consider a Pride Month mixer this June!)
- Single out less visible employee contributions for recognition
According to Anna Doherty, our HR Director, the business case for inclusion and diversity could not be clearer:
“Boosting inclusion and diversity (I&D) in the workplace offers far-reaching benefits to your organisation! Not only do you create a bigger talent pool, but you ensure employees feel accepted and comfortable within the team, which in turn fosters retention, innovation, and improved performance.”
MIT’s unparalleled benefits are designed to build a healthier, happier staff and an inclusive, diverse work culture. Get in touch today to book a free demo of our services!