Tapping into the LGBT+ talent pool
Diversifying your workforce is a top priority for businesses in 2019 and it doesn’t just stop at gender and ethnicity. Sexual orientation and identity of workers has been a topic of importance also.
Recent research from Stonewall examined the attitudes towards LGBT+ individuals in work; almost 18% have been the target of negative comments and 12% of transgender employees have been attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being transgender. This is despite pioneers such as the late Julia Grant raising greater awareness of trans individuals for over 40 years.
Inclusion levels are at an all-time low and more needs to be done to encourage acceptance and understanding around the LGBT+ community. But it is a challenge that not all employers have managed to master. So, how do you appeal to LGBT+ worker and position your organisation as a truly diverse employer?
We were recently asked to contribute a long-form article to Global Recruiter around the concept of tapping into the LGBT+ talent pool as a business. Get a sneak peak here:
- Remove the ‘tick box,’
Tick boxes promote unconscious bias and there is evidence that recruiters using them, particularly at the CV selection phase are in effect excluding candidates that have chosen to tick a diversity box. Offering a ‘prefer not to say’ option is a much more inclusive and welcoming. If you need to ask so you can measure how your own business is embracing diversity, then perhaps just ask later.
- Create and Communicate – LGBT+ Inclusive policies.
Revising, creating and communicating inclusive policies from the outset, is a great way to create a more welcoming environment for all employees. There is no reason why an LGBT+ equality statement can’t be shared prior to the interview/selection process. In addition evidence of a robust anti-discrimination and bullying and harassment policy or a transitioning at work policy for trans-gender individuals reassures potential candidates and goes the extra mile.
- Employ a Diversity Officer
A survey conducted by Glassdoor found that one in three (35%) of UK employers plan to increase their diversity and inclusion programmes. Embrace diversity from within your organisation, if you are truly serious about fostering a culture that attracts diverse talent then create a role within your HR team or outsource an ethical recruiter such as Audeliss to do this for you.
- Educate your workforce on micro-aggressions
For non-binary employees, micro-aggressions are sadly still common place from colleagues and even superiors in the workplace. Faced with an unfamiliar concept, members of staff may ask inappropriate questions or use language that may be hurtful because they either don’t know or don’t fully appreciate the damage it can do.
Provide training for all employees on the challenges faced by the LGBT+ community in the workplace. Make staff aware of the importance of trans-inclusion, identify negative homophobic attitudes that may or may not exist in the workforce, educate staff on matters such as preferred pronouns, the use of facilities and harmful stereotypes. These steps will all help to create a more LGBT+ inclusive culture.
- Empower your employees to be ambassadors for diversity
Visibly demonstrating your commitment and support to the LGBT+ community will help employees feel more comfortable disclosing their gender identity at work and in turn, boost their sense of security and job satisfaction.
Championing LGBT+ workers not just within your own organisation but the industry as a whole communicates to employees and potential employees that you are committed to removing the barriers.
- Create a safe space or process to deal with difficult questions and concerns
LGBT+ diversity should not be treated with kid gloves – instead it should be celebrated as an advantage to the business. If a staff member feels the efforts of senior leaders are not taking inclusion seriously and negative experiences or bullying and bypassing are commonplace, they should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on the issue without it becoming awkward or heated. This is only possible if employers have worked hard to create an open culture that promotes discussions of this nature and allows for challenge from all employees.
- Reach out to the LGBT+ media platforms
If your business is serious about engaging with the LGBT+ community then reach out to the media to show how passionate your organisation is about encouraging diversity in your organisation. You can offer case studies and content on how your business is embracing and supporting LGBT+ team members and diversity.