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5 ways companies can support the LGBTQ+ community

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The 21st to the 25th of March is The National Coalition of LGBTQ‘s Health Awareness Week. This is a great chance to open conversations and educate your team with the aim of creating a more positive and inclusive society.

We thought we would share with you our list of 5 things that a Microsoft Partner can do this year to support our colleagues, friends and family in the LGBTQ+ community and promote equality and diversity in the workplace.

1.Updating current policies

Policies are the constitution of a company. They contain the core rules, values and rights of the team. They not only affect internal matters but also make statements to the wider world.

It is a good idea to audit your policies to make sure they reflect your company’s stance on LGBTQ+:

  • Do your disciplinary rules state that you will not tolerate any form of discrimination against a person because of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation?
  • Do you promote diversity in the recruitment process? And how?
  • Do you have an adoption leave policy?
  • Is there any outdated language that might inadvertently exclude LGBTQ+ staff or their families?

Of course, a policy is only as effective as its implementation. Managers and a company must be actively adhering to and applying the terms and procedures of the policy.

Note: Any discrimination or harassment towards LGBTQ+ members of staff must be taken very seriously and acted upon promptly.

2. Training

Training in how to support diversity, equality and inclusion should be available to all staff, particularly managers and new starters. Training can be the most effective way to promote and educate on LGBTQ+ issues.

Managers should encourage their staff to speak up about any problems that might be affecting LGBTQ+ staff, that way you can be proactive in improving your training and approach.

3. Volunteering

Providing staff days off (or hours) to volunteer with LGBTQ+ charities has three benefits:

  1. the employee gains a sense of purpose;
  2. the charities benefit from the extra pair of hands and resources; and
  3. the company has an opportunity to practice what it preaches.

Employers can provide their staff with a list that directs staff to LGBTQ+ volunteering opportunities.

4. Promotion

Promoting LGBTQ+ events, awareness days and initiatives can help strengthen the message and your company's commitment to champion diversity, equality and inclusion.

Marketing and social media is everything these days. So, whether it is retweeting on LGBTQ+ rights or wearing rainbow colours and waving flags on Pride; it sends a clear message, to your current and prospective staff and clients, of where you stand.

Finding this article useful so far? We'd love to hear your questions, concerns or thoughts. Get in touch, or ask our experts a question! Alternatively, continue reading to find the two new policies we'd recommend.

5. Introduce 2 new policies

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

In 2010 the Equality Act was introduced in the UK and that was another stepping-stone to rid society of intolerance and discrimination. Many employers responded by reflecting the spirit of this act in a new company policy. A policy that promises that these values to be upheld at all stages of employment: through recruitment, training, work and promotion. This policy can be called an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy (“ED&I”).

  • Equality

Because everyone should be treated equal, regardless of their background, gender, race, or other characteristics (protected or otherwise) etc.

  • Diversity

Because we should recognise and celebrate our wonderful differences.

  • Inclusion

Because no one should be unfairly left out.

An ED&I policy is not only fundamental for fighting prejudice towards LGBTQ+ in the workplace but fighting sexism and racism too. If you haven’t got this policy already, get onboard this ED&I train! Next stop- Great place to work!

Transgender

It is a huge and incredibly brave decision for a person to take steps to transition. Not only does this decision pose challenges to their work life, but it also comes with complexities for their family and social life too.

How should one dress around the office? What toilet can a person use? Can a person take time off for a related medical procedure? Will the name badge contain the transitioning employee’s former name?

Employers can show their support by dealing with work issues and questions that may arise, in a Transgender policy.

Our Employment team is here to help Microsoft Partners grow their company in a way that lines up with their unique core values. If you would like more advice on promoting LGBTQ+ rights, and diversity, equality and inclusivity in general, feel free to get in touch below.

How can Law 365 help?

Law 365's compassionate and transparent employment team ensure we deal with delicate matters on a daily basis. Our goal is to provide you with tangible and straightforward advice and ensure we handle the situation in the best possible way for everyone involved. 

Get in touch with our experts, our explore our dedicated Employment area for more details.

Further reading

What, Why and FAQs on Transgender Policies

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