The Do's and Don't of Creating a Safe Workplace for LGBTQ+ Employees

The Do’s and Don’t of Creating a Safe Workplace for LGBTQ+ Employees

June 28, 2022

This Pride Month, we want to help you create work environments that uplift LGBTQ+ employees. Microaggressions are all too real, and are sometimes things that you may not have thought of.

So here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts in creating a work place that welcomes everyone!

Don’t :

Ask someone if they are LGBTQ+. While we like to think the world has come a long way with acceptance, that isn’t necessarily the case. Homosexuality and transgender identities are still illegal in much of the world. LGBTQ+ people don’t know if every environment is a safe one to come out in.  Let people come out only when they choose to.

Don’t :

Ask team members if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner when getting to know them. There are so many other interesting things that you can learn about someone! Besides, people will usually tell you about their main squeeze, if or when, they feel comfortable to do so.

Do :

Use the word “partner” instead of gender specific terms as often as possible, regardless of your sexual orientation. This normalizes the term and can make it safer for LGBTQ+ people to speak about their everyday lives.

Do :

Normalize including pronouns in any situation where introductions are made, or names are provided as the default behavior. Apps like Zoom now give you an option to include them in your name. And email signatures are also a great place to provide your pronouns too!

Don’t :

Be afraid to ask for pronouns of team members or people you are just meeting. Not assuming people’s pronouns makes it easier for nonbinary people to be identified in the way that feels best for them.

Do :

Your research!! Subscribe to newsletters, blogs, and LGBTQ+ organizations for education and clarification. There are so many wonderful resources for you to grow your knowledge of the wonderful and diverse world of gender and sexuality.

Don’t :

Rely on LGBTQ+ team members to educate you. That was most definitely not in their job descriptions!

Do :

Pay your team fairly and create a safe place for people to be their true selves. (Duh.)

Don’t :

Be a jerk – be accountable when you mess up. We are all unlearning years of normalized discrimination. Take responsibility in your education. Apologize when appropriate. And, do better next time.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and is only the beginning. Do you want to learn more of what you can do to make your work environment a safe place? We have a blog on creating a culture of belonging for LGBTQ+ employees featuring Coming Out Happy. And we also have a blog that talks about the importance of including a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Policy in your company handbook.

Happy Pride from us to you! Now, go out there and make the world a little safer for everyone to be in!

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