We’re making legal, social and cultural progress to embrace minorities, such as the LGBTQIA+ community. We can witness that, for example, with the growth in diversity initiatives in companies around the world these past few years.
Still, these groups still face so many challenges when it comes to inclusion. Inclusion is about creating communities, work environments, and a culture that enables everyone to participate and thrive equally. More importantly, within decision making ranks – business, government, community organisations, etc. – is where inclusion is needed most. When these ranks reflect the human population appropriately, we can truly have diversity of thought and stand a better chance to make a difference in all people’s lives.
So how can we create a more inclusive environment? We can acknowledge the reality of the situation, find ways to promote those with different ideas and experiences from different backgrounds, challenge the status quo, and support those programs that elevate opportunities for all people to sit at the decision making tables.
- Mindful communication – language matters.
- Challenge stereotypes – check your own biases.
- Avoid assumptions.
- Ask the right questions and listen with curiosity in order to understand.
- Be aware of your privileges.
- Be proactive in educating yourself.
- Stay open, stay curious, and do not fear mistakes.
Being LGBTQIA+ in our Society
To address the situation it is important to analyse some data and acknowledge the reality of the situation for the queer community around the world.
- Almost 3 billion people live in countries where consensual same-sex activity is a crime.
- People can still be punished for being gay in 70 UN member states by imprisonment, torture or even death.In a survey on European views of minorities, Central and Eastern European countries voted against same-sex marriage
- Between 0.05% and 1.7% of the world, the population is born with intersex traits, which means intersex is about as common as having red hair
- According to the US National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide in their lifetime, around nine times the average rate for the US population
- 50% of trans people have been harassed at school or work and/or suffered physical or sexual violence,
- 30% have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives
- Trans people are three times more likely to live in poverty and to be unemployed.
- A survey on global attitudes toward transgender people revealed that 30% of people worry about exposing children to transgender people and only 40% would use the correct pronouns when addressing them.
LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in the Workplace
Most LGBTQIA+ people don’t reveal their sexual orientation in the workplace. They feel more vulnerable to job loss, they fear damaged promotion opportunities, they fear judgmental reactions, and they still fear to bully.
The difficulty of “coming out of the closet” has serious implications for people. They tend to become isolated and 39% avoid or engage less with colleagues.
Initiatives to Admire
Rainbow flags, signalling acceptance and allyship, is a start but more is needed. Here are some inspiring initiatives from companies to help to create a more inclusive workplace:
Dublin Pride Festival & Parade theme is “Community”, to promote LGBTQ+ organisations and services affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Virtual Pride Parade will livestreamed on June 26th
Indeed developed a campaign, “A New Beginning”, to bring awareness to the importance of using the correct pronouns during the recruitment process. The initiative aligns with Indeed’s mission to “help all people get jobs.” The company also developed campaigns around Black History Month and Women’s History Month.
Hubspot has a series of initiatives in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. They publish an annual Diversity Report to ensure their commitment and transparency in promoting a more diverse workplace.