How to Create an Inclusive Workplace: 10 Tips for Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community

Diverse group of employees are happily discussing a topic around a conference table.

“I want to be inclusive, but I don’t know how, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing.”

We hear this sentiment often. Many business owners want their workplace to be inclusive and safe for the LGBTQIA+ community—but they feel stuck knowing where to start. 

While creating an inclusive workplace culture doesn’t happen overnight, your actions will lead to significant changes over time. Here are our top 10 tips for creating an inclusive workplace this Pride Month and beyond:

  1. Use Inclusive Language. Use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them in job descriptions, policies, communications, etc., instead of gendered language like he or she. This simple change can make a big difference in making everyone feel included.
  2. Ensure Your Organization Has a Non-Discrimination Policy. Create a comprehensive non-discrimination policy that explicitly includes sexual orientation as well as gender identity and expression. This demonstrates your commitment to protecting all employees from discrimination and harassment.
  3. Have an Inclusive Dress Code. Ensure your dress code policy allows employees to dress in a way that reflects their gender identity and makes them feel comfortable. This fosters a respectful and supportive work environment.
  4. Update Your Leave Policies to be Inclusive of All Parents. Update your company leave policies to be inclusive of all parents. All parents, regardless of gender or expression, should receive adequate leave to care for and bond with their child, whether through birth or adoption.
  5. Offer Gender-Neutral Restrooms. Create inclusive restroom facilities. Providing a gender-neutral bathroom can help both your employees and patrons feel more comfortable.
  6. Respect Preferred Names and Pronouns. If someone prefers a different name or pronoun than what is on their birth certificate, honor their preference. Addressing and referring to them correctly shows respect for their identity.
  7. Offer Access to Gender-Affirming Health Benefits and Mental Health Services. Ensure employees have access to gender-affirming health benefits and mental wellness services. Providing access to physicians and therapists is a critical piece in the overall well-being of your workforce; however, it is important to ensure that your health benefits include access to experts who specifically work with the LGBTQIA+ community.
  8. Train and Educate Your Staff. Hold regular LGBTQIA+ awareness and sensitivity training sessions. Allyship and advocacy workshops can also empower non-LGBTQIA+ staff to show their support and solidarity.
  9. Employ Inclusive Recruitment Practices. Ensure your hiring processes are fair and unbiased. Conduct training sessions for hiring managers on recognizing and mitigating unconscious bias.
  10. Support LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Support ERGs that provide a safe space for LGBTQIA+ employees to share experiences, seek advice, and connect with colleagues. ERGs can also organize social events and gatherings to foster community among members and allies.

Implementing these practices can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees.

If you have questions about how to create a safe work environment and culture for your LGBTQIA+ employees to thrive this Pride Month and beyond, please reach out to us at info@bergerhrsolutions or (410) 695-9888 where we can help guide you. Berger HR Solutions is here to help.


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