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The Importance of Real Impact in Celebrating Pride

Pride Month is a time to emphasise that true inclusion and belonging start from within, and a time to pay great focus on educating and supporting staff through personal storytelling and lived experiences. Commitment goes beyond visible symbols to ensure all initiatives create a lasting and positive effect on workplace culture.
One initiative to consider in the workplace is the establishment of a dedicated Employee Resource Group (ERG). These groups can provide a sense of community, offer support, and advocate for inclusive policies within the organisation. By appointing an LGBTQIA+ Team Lead, the team can spearhead impactful programs, such as "Ask Me Anything" lunch & learns. In these panel-style workshops, employees can engage with various LGBTQIA+ topics from the perspectives of community members and allies. These sessions would provide insights into the lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals and offer opportunities to learn about diverse subjects, from "What it's like to be queer in the UK workplace" to same-sex parenting and LGBTQIA+ law and travel.

Additionally, the team could develop a useful LGBTQIA+ A-Z guide, enabling colleagues across the organisation to self-educate on inclusive language and hiring practices. Similar initiatives have been extremely well-received in the past, with storytelling based on real-life experiences proving to be both insightful and meaningful. Feedback from organisations indicates that employees feel better equipped to be more mindful and inclusive in their professional and personal lives.

Challenges Faced by the LGBTQIA+ Community in the Workplace

Despite advancements, many LGBTQIA+ individuals still face significant challenges in the workplace. Consider the following statistics:

Almost one in five LGBT staff (18%) have faced negative comments or conduct from colleagues in the past year.
One in ten LGBT employees (10%) believe they missed a promotion because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Exclusion by colleagues was reported by more than one in six LGBT staff (17%), with rates doubling for trans employees.

These figures highlight the persistent biases and discrimination that LGBTQIA+ employees encounter, underscoring the importance of continued efforts to promote DEI.

*Data sourced from Stonewall.org.uk

Addressing These Challenges Through Positive Initiatives in Recruitment

1. Inclusive Job Descriptions: Ensure job descriptions are inclusive and free of gendered language. Highlight the organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
2. Bias-Free Hiring Practices: Implement training for hiring managers on unconscious bias and inclusive hiring practices. Use diverse hiring panels to ensure a variety of perspectives in the recruitment process ensure fair evaluations of candidates.
3. Supportive Onboarding Programs: Develop onboarding programs that include information about the organisation’s LGBTQIA+ policies and resources. Introduce new hires to employee resource groups and support networks.
4. Partnerships with LGBTQIA+ Organisations: Partner with LGBTQIA+ organisations or community groups to reach a diverse pool of candidates. This collaboration can help promote the organisation as an LGBTQIA+-friendly employer and attract top talent from the community.
5. Regular Feedback and Improvement: Continuously seek feedback from LGBTQIA+ employees about their experiences and the effectiveness of inclusion initiatives. Use this feedback to improve policies and practices.

By understanding the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community and implementing these positive initiatives, organisations can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace environment.

Commitment to EDI: Shaping the Future

Organisations should strive to create a workplace where everyone can thrive, regardless of their background. A commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) enhances internal culture and contributes to delivering value and making a positive community impact.

Employee initiatives focused on LGBT+ inclusion, led by a dedicated team, have been well received and garnered positive feedback. Participants have appreciated the open and honest approach, interactive sessions, and the opportunity to learn from personal experiences. Some of the feedback includes:

"I enjoyed learning new information from the LGBT+ Employee Group; the quiz was enlightening." 
"The interactive and open approach to the activity was refreshing." 
"Open forums with the LGBT+ Employee Group where they shared their experiences were impactful." 
"The video chats with the LGBT+ Employee Group provided valuable insights."

Pride 2024 and beyond

Organisations should prepare to engage and celebrate with impactful initiatives as Pride Month approaches. With future Pride celebrations in mind, planning a series of events during June can help deepen understanding and enhance inclusivity. These can include 'Ask Me Anything' sessions and various educational resources aimed at promoting a more inclusive workplace. Each activity should be designed to equip employees with the tools to foster a more inclusive environment.
By planning these activities, the goal is to make a lasting impact beyond Pride Month, reinforcing a commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the year. Leading by example, organisations can ensure every employee feels valued and included while broadening perspectives and breaking down barriers.

 
Tate
Author

Charlotte Jackson

Head of Client Solutions, Public Sector
Tate Recruitment
Founded in 1985 by Lady Virginia Tate, Tate Recruitment set out with an unwavering vision to lead the recruitment industry with integrity and excellence. Tate Recruitment have remained at the forefront, adapting dynamically to the ever-changing job market, all while staying anchored to their core values that shape everything they do.