What is one way I can show my business is LGBTQ+ inclusive?
To help you show that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive, we asked business owners and PR professionals this question for their best tips. From making sure your policies are updated to featuring LGBTQ+ experts on your website, there are several ways to show that your business is inclusive to the LGBTQ+ communities.
Here are 11 ways to show your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive:
- Make Sure Your Policies Are LGBTQ+ Inclusive
- Train Your Staff On LGBTQ+ Inclusion
- Hire LGBTQ+ Representation in C-suite Roles
- Commit to Inclusion All Year Not Just Pride Month
- Adopt An Online Indicator On Web Pages
- Start Listing Pronouns
- Implement Inclusive Brand Messaging
- Actually Hire People from the LGBTQ+ Community
- Let Your Social Media Handles Tell the Story
- Create a Family Work Culture
- Feature LGBTQ+ Experts On Your Site
Make Sure Your Policies Are LGBTQ+ Inclusive
One way to communicate that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive to new and current employees is to make sure all your policies have been written or updated to be inclusive. For example, your policies on parental leave, adoption, and pensions, may have a heteronormative focus if they have not been examined carefully.
Of course, LGBTQ+ inclusion should be a core part of your Equality and Diversity policy too - and having a separate LGBTQ+ inclusion policy can show even more strongly your commitment to inclusion for this group.
Camille Brouard, myhrtoolkit
Train Your Staff On LGBTQ+ Inclusion
One way to ensure that your company is LGBTQ+ inclusive is to provide training to your staff members. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as through workshops, webinars, or even online courses. Training should cover topics such as LGBTQ+ terminology, pronoun usage, and the unique challenges that members of the LGBTQ+ community face.
By providing this type of training, you will help ensure that your employees are knowledgeable about the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, this will show your employees that you are committed to creating an inclusive environment.
Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
Hire LGBTQ+ Representation in C-suite Roles
One way to invest in the LGBTQ+ community is to hire executive leadership to represent LGBTQ+ interests in your business and for your customers. Including and seeking out these perspectives ultimately strengthens your business to cover blind spots and avoid faux pas.
LGBTQ+ leadership will voice their inclusive campaign ideas and company policies while defending workers’ basic rights. The more variety you add to your voices in leadership, the better you can grasp a 360-degree perspective of your business from the consumers’ perspective.
As we move forward, businesses need whatever edge they can get above the competition. Showcase your company’s inclusivity by granting LGBTQ+ leaders a voice on your board.
Zach Goldstein, Public Rec
Commit to Inclusion All Year Not Just Pride Month
One way to show that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive is to commit to inclusion year-round. Something as simple as a rainbow flag to show support, or social media callouts against new discriminatory legislation, can speak volumes. Pride month is only one month out of the year after all. Adopting more supportive internal practices year-round shows commitment to the cause, not just a one-month-long performance.
Phillip Akhzar, Arka
Adopt An Online Indicator On Web Pages
One sure way to show that your business is LGBTQ+ is to advertise this fact on your web presence. For example, Yelp has attributes that allow you to mark your business as "open-to-all," as well as indicators for features like non-gendered bathrooms. You can also show your inclusivity to the LGBTQ+ community by making a note on your social media profiles, your website, and the sign-offs of your email newsletters.
Carly Hill, VirtualHolidayParty.com
Start Listing Pronouns
One simple and effective way to show your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive is to start listing pronouns on company name identifiers. Pronouns provide everyone the opportunity to say how they would like to be addressed. This call to action shows your business is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights and ensures everyone is treated and referred to as they would most prefer.
Sasha Ramani, MPOWER Financing
Implement Inclusive Brand Messaging
One way to show off your company's inclusivity is through brand messaging. For example, an easy way to be mindful of all your consumers is to keep your copywriting gender-neutral.
Instead of using 'he' or 'she,' use 'they' so that anyone can envision themselves as a consumer of your product. It's the small changes that make the most significant difference. I would recommend building a company diversity committee to create an inclusive strategy.
Breanne Millette, BISOULOVELY
Actually Hire People from the LGBTQ+ Community
I'm going to be honest here as a Talent Acquisition professional. There is a lot of lip service being paid to inclusivity, particularly the LBTQ+ community. Companies all put their rainbow flag background up on LinkedIn during Pride Month, but what does that actually mean?
If you aren't actively seeking to hire members of the LGBTQ+ community and foster their career growth, don't bother with the flag background. People will see that your efforts are inauthentic at best, offensive at worst. It is a misrepresentation to the LGBTQ+ community, virtue-signaling without substance.
Instead of following the crowd, do a few things that make a difference. Actively seek LGBTQ+ applicants for your open positions at your business by advertising on sites that cater to this diversity, like Campus Pride, LGBT Connect, and Out and Equal, to name a few. And once you've hired diverse candidates, foster their growth by promoting mentorship opportunities and Employer Resource Groups (ERGs).
Sarah Peck, AEVEX Aerospace
Let Your Social Media Handles Tell the Story
Manage and organize your business's social media handles making them vibrant with pride colors. With the pride month just a week away you can start uploading catalogs and pictures in an LGBTQ-centric way. Make your preferences obvious by collaborating with prominent LGBTQ models and activists, and organizing community dinners and potlucks for the LGBTQ community. Don't shy down from posting views and appreciation about commendable achievements of the LGBTQ community as a whole or individual success stories.
Isaac Robertson, Total Shape
Create a Family Work Culture
You can't fix something rotten inside. To show that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive, start by working out a family work culture. In really inclusive workplaces, LGBTQ employees feel "at home." They are comfortable showing private photos, talking about their partners, inviting them to business events or hanging out with workers. Much of this depends on the employees themselves, but you, as the boss, can encourage such positive behaviors.
Show your respect, value people, for who they are, and support them if needed. If your budget allows, organize an integration event and invite all employees with their partners. Make it clear that everyone is welcome. You may as well distribute some rainbow stickers. Finally, update your non-discriminatory policy. Put your actions on paper too.
Nina Paczka, MyPerfectResume
Feature LGBTQ+ Experts On Your Site
An excellent way to demonstrate that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive is to give a platform to amplify their voices. Consider interviewing an LGBTQ+ person within your industry, preferably someone who already has something of a following. Whatever the topic of the interview ends up being, it's key to ensure that you highlight how LGBTQ+ people have contributed to the field and continue to do so.
Adrien Dissous, Babo Botanicals
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