The Power Of One: 3 Steps You Can Take To Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ Inclusive

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Just as it takes only one person to make someone feel unwanted or unwelcome, a single individual can change a workplace environment for the better as well. This is especially true when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion. Below you will learn three steps that you can take to help make this change in your workplace.

1. Be Conscious of the Nouns You Use 

People can often make others feel uncomfortable without intending to do so simply by not taking the time to carefully consider what nouns and pronouns they use. For instance, while you may simply be trying to form a bond with a new coworker by asking about their relationship status, you may unintentionally make them feel uncomfortable by asking specifically about whether they have a current boyfriend or girlfriend. To help promote an inclusive work environment, consider simply asking if they are currently seeing anyone or ask how their partner is doing rather than using specific terms such as boyfriend or girlfriend. 

2. Never Make Assumptions

While some people choose to openly display their sexuality, others find this information to be extremely personal and wish to keep it to themselves. This statement applies to both members of the LBGTQ community and heterosexual individuals. To avoid misunderstandings that could result in an intolerable or hostile work environment, be sure to never make assumptions regarding a person's sexual orientation or identity. 

3. Practice a Zero-Tolerance Policy

To really make a change in your workplace environment, it is vital that you practice a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to allowing your coworkers to demonstrate discriminatory behavior in your presence. If you hear a coworker making statements that could potentially harm the inclusive environment that you are working to create, it is important that you let them know you disapprove. More importantly, you must be willing to share with them the reasons for your disapproval so that they do not merely refrain from this behavior in your presence but also when you are not around. 

While the steps above are a great way to start changing the culture in your workplace, there are several other steps that can be taken in order to ensure your workplace environment is welcoming to all members of the LGBTQ community. To learn more about these steps and to help better educate your colleagues, you may wish to consider the use of inclusion training classes. These classes can help improve the overall work environment and serve as a great team-building exercise as well. For more information, contact an LGBTQ workplace inclusion training program.

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19 February 2021

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