How To Make Your Workplace More Supportive of LGBTQ+ Employees

We spend a large portion of our lives in our workplace. While for some people this is a great thing, for some it can get scary. Especially so for LGBTQ+ community. In my experience as an HR professional, they have always had a hard time enjoying their work and being relaxed at their workplace. This ultimately hampers the productivity and it can be really scary too.

As I’ve found so frequently, people who can pass as straight or cisgender usually don’t want to come out in the workplace. There is still no federal law protecting LGBTQ+ community from experiencing discrimination in the workplace. At the very least, they don’t feel welcome. So, here are some things I did in my workplace and I strived to employ to make this community feel accepted and equal.

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Use their preffered pronouns. One of the biggest challenges LGBTQ+ people face when they come out is that people don’t use their preffered pronouns. While coworkers can often try to be supportive of their LGBTQ+ colleagues, and they try to learn the proper language, they often make mistakes with pronouns. This has been a problem in my environment as it made one of my coworkers feel uncomfortable, especially because it often came from the customers and they often felt uneasy explaining it to them. So, do your best to learn and ask your coworkers to learn too.

“One of the things that might work for your environment are yearly trainings in LGBTQIA topics. Hiring more queer and trans people would help with this as well, people would be more open to learning. Have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of discrimination in your workplace,” explains Anna Gills, an HR at Academized and Paper fellows.

Have free mental health resources. Even when you do your best, your workplace might not be as kind to LGBTQIA employees. It might not be big things that will strike you as a straight person, but smaller issues that might hurt someone from the LGBTQIA community. So, the important thing to do here is to offer some mental health resources that will help them if such a thing happens. Create an environment where it’s clear that resources are available for people who need them.

Create a welcoming environment. “When in doubt, talking things through is always a good idea,” says Hillary Nicel, a writer at State Of Writing and OX Essays.  So, one of the things you could do and that I did in my company is starting to entice conversations about our personal lives. Of course, you can’t push a person to say more than they want to, but just make sure that there is an open community where you can share personal issues and stories so that people from the LGBTQIA community can feel comfortable. Allow your employees to talk without being judged and this will benefit everyone.

Practice diversity. Instead of just talking about diversity and how important it is to be diverse as a company or as a person. As I’ve spoke with some of my LGBTQIA coworkers, they agreed that this is the topic we often talk about but don’t do anything about. So, I’ve decided to really embrace diversity and make our company better for it.We started some mentorship programs and opened up more room on the top level for LGBTQIA community as well as other minority communities. We are currently working on some queer mentorship programs and starting a LGBTQIA resource group where our employees could talk and share their opinions, issues and so on.

Our ultimate goal is to create an open community and a safe workplace where people can feel comfortable in their own skin. We strive to ensure that there is queer leadership within a company and that we often have conversations about who we are and what we want. Of course, this might not be so in many companies, but as an HR representative, you have an opportunity to make at least one company a better place for everyone.

Aimee Laurence
Aimee Laurence has been an HR specialist for thee years  at  UK Writings and Write A Paper For Me websites. She writes about ethics, sustainability, environment and health. She also is a freelance HR specialist at Best Assignment Writers portal.

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