During LGBT History Month 2021, we celebrate the first anniversary of our LGBTQ+ Awareness E-Learning course.
In this article, REALSENSE’s Kate Lindop looks at the workplace issues that have yet to be addressed regarding inclusivity and the practical steps employers can take to create an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace.
The Equality Act (2010) says that no individual must be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. So, whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual, discrimination at work is unlawful and employers have a legal obligation to protect all their staff, avoid discrimination and provide a working environment that is free from prejudice.
Despite this, the LGBT rights charity Stonewall recently found that inclusion is still not a given and almost one in five LGBT staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues due to their sexual orientation. They also identified that 35% of LGBT staff hide their sexuality at work because of fear of discrimination.
Clearly, there is more to be done and additional steps that organisations can take to help raise staff awareness regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ+ staff in the workplace. Below we share some examples of actions you can take as an employer to help create a working environment that is free from prejudice whilst demonstrating respect and inclusivity towards your LGBTQ+ Staff.
Know your staff
Be aware of the assumptions you make and be mindful of all people’s feelings. Staff who feel valued and accepted are happier and more productive. Take some time to learn about LGBTQ+ issues and gender identity and show your support for awareness days and the local LGBTQ+ Community.
Policies and Procedures
An organisation’s policies and procedures should be relevant and easily accessible, and staff should be confident in implementing them. Ensure your policies explain how you as an employer support the LGBTQ+ staff in your organisation and take discrimination seriously. A clear Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy should be made available to all staff and your policies on parental leave, benefits and so on should all be written inclusively.
Educate your staff about Equality
Ensure your business culture promotes equality and diversity and that all staff understand the behaviour that is classed as discrimination. The LQBTQ+ community can still face stereotyping and have assumptions made about them so try to ensure you use inclusive language in all communications and help your employees recognise that LGBTQ+ is an important part of your organisation’s values.
Organisations that offer LGBTQ+ Training in the workplace alongside other Equality and Diversity training immediately demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and ensure that all their staff have access to the relevant information needed to create a fully inclusive workplace that is free from prejudice. If training is recorded through a learning management system, employers can keep track of their employees’ progress and quickly identify additional training needs.
REALSENSE have carried out extensive research to determine what employers can do to ensure they deliver a more inclusive workplace and we can provide your organisation with all the information you need.
Our powerful LGBTQ+ Awareness online training course covers:
• Gender and Sexual Orientation Terminology
• Law and Legislation, Harassment and Victimisation
• Prejudice and Discrimination
• Benefits of an Inclusive Environment
• Assessment – employees taking this training course will complete an assessment to ensure that they understand the course content and to demonstrate their increased awareness of issues.
You can find more information about LGBTQ+ Awareness online training as well as our other HR and employment courses here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss our bespoke e-learning courses.