LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way in recent years. We have seen progress in terms of marriage equality, anti-discrimination laws and conversion therapy bans. However, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to ensuring that the LGBTQ+ community is fully protected, supported and visible in the workplace – and HR software might just be the answer.
LGBTQ+ Workplace Challenges
You would think that in 2022, there would be improvements in the workplace diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ+ employees. However, despite sexual orientation discrimination and gender reassignment discrimination being illegal in the UK under the Equality Act 2010 – LGBTQ+ employees still face a lack of visibility and sense of inclusion.
A study by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that 46% of LGBTQ+ employees say they are closeted at work. This can be due to a number of factors, including the fear of discrimination or harassment. In fact, according to the Institute of Government and Public Policy, 40% of LGBTQ+ employees and 55% of Trans employees have experienced discrimination and harassment, compared to 29% of heterosexual employees.
The LGBTQ+ have been subjected to many biases and harassment, with 53% of LGBTQ+ employees admitting to have been subject to homophobic jokes. But this is not the only form in which they are targeted. Transgender and non-binary employees are also subject to other biases and harassment such as bathroom accessibility, being deliberately referred to by incorrect pronouns, and having to tolerate inappropriate questions – all at work!
An LGBTQ+ Inclusive HR Software
So, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride March in 1972, it is important that we reflect on how we can better support LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace.
One way is by ensuring that our HR software is inclusive of all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. By using a HR system that reflects the diversity of today’s workforce, you can send a strong message that supports and accepts all.
Here is what to look at for in an LGBTQ+ inclusive HR system:
The ability to add preferred pronouns:
Adding preferred pronouns to a HR system can help LGBTQ+ inclusion in a number of ways. First, it sends a strong message of support to employees that their pronoun choice is respected and supported. The option to select preferred pronouns can also help to prevent potential misgendering, which can be a source of stress and anxiety for transgender and non-binary employees. By having this option available, you are sending a message that everyone is welcome and included.
The ability to add gender identity and sexual orientation in employee profiles
Adding this information in employee profiles helps to create a more inclusive environment, and can also be used to help support employees in case of discrimination or harassment. For example, if an employee is subjected to homophobic jokes, the HR software can be used as evidence to support their claim by identifying awareness of their gender identity and sexual orientation. This information is also gold for when analysing diversity data to see where there are gaps in LGBTQ+ representation and the implications needed to be actioned to improve the situation.
Inclusive language options
It is important to ensure that the language used in the HR system is inclusive of all employees. This includes using gender-neutral terms such as ’employees’ instead of ‘men and women’, and avoiding heteronormative assumptions.
Improving LGBTQ+ Workplace D&I with HR analytics
When it comes to workplace diversity and inclusion, HR analytics can be a powerful tool. By analysing data on things like job applicants, employee turnover, and promotions, HR professionals can identify patterns and potential areas of improvement.
Recruitment and Retention
By looking at data on things like the percentage of LGBTQ+ applicants who are hired, or the number of LGBTQ+ employees who have left the company in the past year, you can start to get a picture of where there might be room for improvement.
These identified potential areas of improvement can then provide insight into the strategies that can be taken to address them. This might involve things like changing the way job postings are worded to attract more LGBTQ+ candidates, or developing mentorship programs to help LGBTQ+ employees feel more supported in their career development.
Similarly, by analysing the data on employee demographics, job roles, and experience levels, you can get a better understanding of where the LGBTQ+ community is underrepresented. This information can then be used to create targeted recruitment and inclusion initiatives that aim to improve LGBTQ+ representation in those identified areas.
Analysing engagement levels among LGBTQ+ employees can also evidence whether they feel like they belong or are valued in the workplace. If you find that LGBTQ+ employees are less engaged than other groups of staff, it could be an indication that your company is not doing enough to create a supportive and inclusive work environment for this group of workers. This can be used as fuel to implement D&I initiatives such as training on unconscious bias to help create a more LGBTQ+ inclusive culture.
Creating an LGBTQ+ Supportive Culture
To create a LGBTQ+ supportive culture, it is imperative that your employees are in line with the company culture and values. And one of the best ways to do is through a HR platform such as elementengage.
By creating a dedicated channel for LGBTQ+ issues, you can ensure that everyone has a voice, and that important conversations surrounding the issues that the LGBTQ+ community face in the workplace are taking place. You can also use this platform to share resources, articles, and events that will help educate your employees surrounding these issues.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate Pride Month (or any other month) by sharing photos of your team celebrating LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
Your LGBTQ+ HR Software
Pride Month is the perfect time to start implementing some of these changes, but remember that workplace diversity and inclusion should be an ongoing effort. By making these small changes, you can create a more inclusive environment for all your employees – no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.
If you’re looking to upgrade your LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion with a HR software, elementsuite is here to help. Our all-in-one platform offers a variety of HR platforms that can help you manage, monitor and analyse your LGBTQ+ D&I initiatives.
For more information, contact us today for a demo. We would be happy to show you how our software can help improve your workplace diversity and inclusion.