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How to create an LGBTQ+ friendly company

It is officially the start of Pride Month. The month-long event, which happens in June every year, celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, with the aim of raising awareness and combatting prejudice. At Adzuna, we have put together some top tips for how to create an inclusive working environment, from job ads to the office environment.  

 

Who is included in the LGBTQ+ community?

Pride Month is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, but what does this stand for? The LGBTQ+ community includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The term also includes queer people, which was formerly seen as a derogatory term, however, it is now used positively to describe people who are not heterosexual or cisgender. 

Pride Month is a great time to celebrate the community, but what can you do all year round to welcome the underrepresented group? Let’s start with how to create a welcoming job ad.

 

Appropriate language

When writing a job advert, make sure that the language that you are using is inclusive. This may seem pretty obvious, but there are some phrases that you may not even realise have a bias. Words such as ‘guys’ have a real gender bias and can very easily deter transgender or non-binary people. Other words that should be avoided, where possible, include strong, competitive, and courageous. Traditionally, these words have been seen as fairly masculine, so could deter men who don’t feel like they fit the stereotype or transgender and non-binary individuals. 

Try to also avoid using both ‘she’ and ‘he’ in a job description. Instead, use inclusive language such as ‘they’ and ‘you’. By making this small change, you can make a huge difference to a prospective non-binary applicant.

 

Clarify inclusivity

It is definitely worth adding a line into the job description to clarify the inclusivity of the company. You should add a line outlining that all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome to join the position. By doing this, members of the LGBTQ+ community will not be reluctant to apply to the position and will feel welcomed. Last year, our research found that less than one in six UK job postings explicitly welcomed people from all sexual orientations and gender identities. By simply adding a line on all sexual orientations and gender identities being welcome, the LGBTQ+ community will be more likely to apply. 

 

Post to appropriate job boards

If possible, try to post your job ads to LGBTQ+ friendly job boards. Websites such as Pink Jobs and Proudemployers are great places to start and to show that you are an ally. By doing this, you will attract diverse talent. 

 

Ask for feedback

Following the application process, why not send out a survey? This will ensure that you gain feedback on the process as well as identify opportunities to grow. One way to do this is adding in a question on the inclusivity of the job ad. Questions like this will ensure that everyone has a say and you get feedback from a diverse group of people.

 

Now let’s take a look at how to ensure that an LGBTQ+ colleague feels welcomed in your company.

 

Unconscious bias training

A great way to ensure that prejudice doesn’t exist in your company is to implement unconscious bias training. This type of training ensures that all colleagues are aware of the company’s stance, as well as ensuring that everyone is treated in the same way regardless of their gender, sexuality, race, and religion. 

 

Diversity and inclusion team

Try and start up a diversity and inclusion team in your company. The committee can discuss everything from making your job ads more friendly to how to make diverse talent feel welcomed. It is also a good idea to try and ensure that members of the team are members of the LGBTQ+ community. This will ensure that you are aware of the techniques that will benefit and welcome the community the most. 

 

Website statements

On your website, include some statements and examples of your commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion. Although this may seem like a small step, it can be really important for prospective and current LGBTQ+ talent. By simply seeing that a company is welcoming to all groups of people, members of the LGBTQ+ community are more inclined to apply and stay at your company. 

 

Company dress code

If your company has a dress code, make sure that you adapt it. Rather than outlining the requirements for men and women, try and use more welcoming language. Putting clothing into categories isn’t needed. Instead, simply write a list of accepted clothing such as ‘smart shirt’, ‘suit trousers’, or ‘dress’. This makes sure that everyone feels accepted and eliminates the exclusion of non-binary or transgender employees. 

 

Highlight your LGBTQ+ talent

Although you should be accepting and celebrate their achievements all year round, Pride Month is a great opportunity to highlight your LGBTQ+ talent. Try and put out social media posts highlighting your LGBTQ+ talent. This could be done in a similar way to other events such as International Women’s Day. Of course, you shouldn’t do this if these colleagues aren’t comfortable, but where possible, this could be a nice touch. 

💡 Read more: Adzuna asks: How can organisations be LGBTQ+ inclusive?

 

Make sure that you follow as many of these tips as possible to ensure a welcoming and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees. Pride Month is an important time to celebrate the community, their history, and their achievements, so make sure that you celebrate it. However, make sure that you embrace your LGBTQ+ colleagues all year round. Remember that although you should be welcoming, your LGBTQ+ employees should ultimately be treated in the same way as everyone else. Happy Pride Month everyone!

💡 Read more: How to use stay interviews to retain staff


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