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LGBTQIA & Recruitment: The power of an inclusive workplace

Throughout many businesses across the USA, and the globe, there has been a recognizable and encouraging shift in progress surrounding diversity and inclusivity in the workplace in recent decades. 

But what does an inclusive workplace really look like? How do you ensure that your recruitment process is operating efficiently to tackle the systematic challenges around workplace equality and inclusion? 

Inclusion in the workplace makes for a stronger, happier, and higher performing workforce, so it’s vital you embrace and nurture an inclusive company culture.

Importance of a diverse workplace

It’s important to understand that diversity and inclusivity aren’t the same things. Rather, inclusivity is the natural next step in supporting a diverse team. Having an inclusive workplace allows you to create an inclusive environment that is well equipped to welcome each new member of staff, providing them with the opportunity to contribute, thrive, and feel part of an organization. 

How to build an LGBTQIA+ workplace

Implementing a robust inclusion strategy for your organization benefits your business and your team simultaneously. 

By creating a safe, welcoming, and LGBTQIA+ inclusive space, not only will your team feel supported and happy in their working environment, but this will also have a positive knock-on effect on your productivity and profitability. 

Here are a few key ways you can begin to build an LGBTQIA+ inclusive workplace:

  • Review and update your policies for LGBTQIA+ inclusion, ensuring policies such as parental or adoption leave, and pensions are inclusive across the board

  • Provide LGBTQIA+ training

  • Create an LGBTQIA+ internal network

  • Appoint LGBTQIA+ officers or allies

  • Introduce pronouns in company communications

  • Create unisex toilets

  • Celebrate LGBTQIA+ events and notable days in the LGBTQIA+ community

Improve your recruitment process

One of the leading causes of organizations struggling to find diverse candidates often leads back to their lack of an efficient LGBTQIA+ recruitment strategy.

Yet, there are some simple measures to implement that can improve your inclusive recruitment process. 

Ensure you are communicating your inclusive policies throughout your job advertisements, and when discussing a role with a potential client. Make sure to highlight that all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome, and use your LGBTQIA+ talent inclusion across your communications with both internal and external audiences. 

Make sure that your recruitment team is aware of your LGBTQIA+ policies, and implement training for existing staff and higher management on these policies, as well as on things like inclusive language. 

Encourage internal LGBTQIA+ networking

For any member of staff to feel part of an inclusive team, they need to feel a sense of belonging & comradery with their fellow colleagues.

Setting up an LGBTQIA+ internal network can be a great way for LGBTQIA+ staff to meet within a safe space at work and feel supported by one another. It also acts as an opportunity for LGBTQIA+ staff within your organization to raise any concerns they may have and identify ways you could improve your overall inclusion. 

Appoint LGBTQIA+ allies on interview panels/at the c-suite

LGBTQIA+ allies within your organization act as a source of support and often champion LGBTQIA+ inclusion within the workplace.

Appointing an ally to your interview panels or at the C-suite can help in ensuring proper inclusion policies are being upheld and allow LGBTQIA+ applicants to feel they have support both in the recruitment process, and in the future should their application be successful.