The UK populace’s awareness and understanding about the LGBTQ+ community has developed significantly over recent years. Being inclusive to the community is essential to successfully attaining an equal and diverse workplace void of discrimination.
What is LGBTQ+?
LGBTQ+ is the acronym used to represent a broad range of sexual orientations and gender classifications. It is not the only acronym used to describe this community, but it is a very common one. For more information on our use of acronyms, we have collated a terminology page for you to read.
For many employers, keeping up with the broad range of different definitions, terms and identities is overwhelming.
That’s why we use LGBTQ+; although the acronym literally stands for ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and more’, it represents a large and diverse community. As such, LGBTQ+ is a friendly and digestible term that is as representative as possible which is used by those both within and outside of the community.
There have been some negative reactions to the development of trans rights in recent years. Although some discussions surrounding such rights are productive, many are the result of social media echo chambers and misinformation campaigns.
As a UK company, it is important that you remain as apolitical as possible. In regard to the politicisation of LGBTQ+ rights, the vast majority of consumers recognise that any negative responses are reactionary, making it important for UK companies to remain on the side of the status quo.
Although many employers prefer to avoid getting involved, in times of massive political instability such as these, you may have to take a stand. If you are truly committed to developing an inclusive environment for your employees, it is essential that you stand beside the LGBTQ+ community in its entirety.
Create an inclusive company culture
Those individuals who are a part of or identify with the LGBTQ+ community have no obvious identifying characteristics. Although there are several damaging stereotypes, there is no way of knowing that someone is part of the community without them disclosing it to you or another.
As such, for your company culture to develop its inclusivity and diversity, it is paramount for the LGBTQ+ community to feel welcome and included. What we mean by this is that some companies who have a severe lack of genuine dedication to EDI can push to hire people from certain social groups or identities, most commonly from ethnic groups.
This is known as tokenism, where the company program is purely symbolic rather than tangible for those in the community. As such, the only way to successfully develop a diverse workforce that includes people from the LGBTQ+ community is to develop an inclusive company culture.
Expand your customer and client base
As the UK community develops a greater understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity, an increasing number of people identify with or as being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Therefore, to keep up with your competitors you have to ensure you are not alienating any potential customers or clients. This means that being both actively and openly supportive and inclusive to the LGBTQ+ is essential.
Given many consumers’ positive outlook on socially responsible organisations, being successfully inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community may be a significant benefit to the company’s revenue.