• Lisa Fedrizzi

Inclusivity Beyond Pride Month

Equality, diversity, and inclusivity. Three very strong words that are important to all of us – employer, employee, client and customer.

Demonstrating commitment is a priority for employers because every employee, client and customer should always feel included, respected and equal. Most importantly, as a business and an employer of choice, your priority for a strong D&I program is to continue to assess your inclusivity all year long. It should be an evolving process.

Everyone deserves to feel like they belong… because they do!

Many companies and organizations are taking the necessary steps to move towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. Your Employee Engagement Team and HR Department play a significant role by being the drivers of these future programs and initiatives. How can you start that conversation? What can you to do help inclusion beyond Pride Month?

  • Help set up conversations that will begin to craft specific policies that outline your company’s position on LGBTQ+ rights. Be clear about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

  • Hiring? Look over your wording in your job descriptions. Are you sure they are sending the message that your workplace is inclusive?

  • Do employees and potential employees know of your commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion? Be sure to demonstrate that whether it’s in your company newsletter, social sites or job ads.

  • Invest in diversity and inclusion training that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Allow employees to always be their authentic selves.

  • Even as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, you may need help to create programs and policies. Partner with experts.

  • Develop support programs. Allow your Employee Resource Group or Culture Committee to provide further ways to innovate in the workplace.

While it is still a long road ahead for many companies, we can look at companies like Target who have stood up not only for their employees but their customers, as well. Inclusivity is a core value at Target and they have taken the time to continue to remind their team members how their beliefs are brought to life in how they serve employees and their guests. A few years ago, they released a statement about continuing to stand for inclusivity and one particular quote stood out for me - We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”

An inclusive environment must be intentionally designed and supported. While diversity in its traditional form ensures that employees see themselves represented in the workplace, diversity can fail if inclusivity is not its equal partner. Being an inclusive environment allows your employees, clients and customers a welcoming and supportive environment where they feel accepted in their true, authentic form.

So, take a stand today and be the voice that says inclusion and equality are for everyone.