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30 Jun 2023

Using Tech to Include the LGBTQIA+ Community

Using Tech to Include the LGBTQIA+ Community
As June draws to a close, too many businesses will be packing away their rainbows, confident that they’ve done their part for Pride Month and the LGBTQIA+ community. But it isn’t that simple!

Supporting your LGBTQIA+ employees means making an effort throughout the year to ensure they feel included and able to be themselves.

It’s all well and good saying that, of course, but how can you do it? Well, don’t worry! We’ve collected together a few examples of how you can leverage technologies to improve your inclusive efforts. They might be new technologies, or just a new way to use the ones you’ve already got!

 


 

 

Inclusive Recruitment Tools

The first and best way to support your LGBTQIA+ employees is to ensure there are no barriers for them to enter the business in the first place. There are plenty of tools to help you. Some services will read your job adverts to ensure you’re using inclusive language, while others will track (freely given) information from your applicants to let you know how diverse your hiring pool is.

For more information on how tech can help to reduce our biases, read our article here.

 

Create Spaces

Letting your LGBTQIA+ employees know they’re not alone will do wonders. This can be done via your intranet, a Slack or WhatsApp group, or perhaps your HRIS. By creating a digital space specifically for these employees, you allow them a place to support each other whilst encouraging them to be themselves at work.

 

Collect the Data

People analytics tools and feedback surveys can help you to get a detailed picture of your workforce. How many people identify as LGBTQIA+? How many feel comfortable doing so openly? If they did, are there any others who would feel uncomfortable around them?

Some of these are difficult questions to ask, and some answers may come as a surprise. But knowing this information means you can act on it, whether it means putting out internal comms about how the company supports its LGBTQIA+ employees, or running training sessions for those who may need more information to understand and empathise with the community.
 

AI is Your Friend

Curious to know if your new relationships at work policy is inclusive? Or looking for a few ideas for LGBTQIA+-centric events? With the right prompt, OpenAI’s ChatGPT will proofread any document you feed it, or throw some relevant suggestions your way. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s a valuable resource to bounce ideas off.

However, beware any facts or statistics ChatGPT provides; it’s been known to feed people “facts” that it just reckons sound right, rather than being based on solid research. But then again, we all know some real people who do that!

 

The "Little" Things

There plenty more things you can do to support your LGBTQIA+ colleagues. Many of them are small changes that will have a big impact, such as the following:

  • Pronouns in Email Signatures: Encouraging everyone in the business to place their preferred pronouns in their email signature – including cisgendered people – will help your gender non-conforming members of your team feel more welcome.
  • Anonymous Reporting: Set up an anonymous form on your intranet or HRIS. It can have many functions, but one of them is that people will be able to report harassment or discomfort without fear of any personal consequences.
  • Diverse Design: Let your marketing team know to include diverse people in their social media posts or whitepapers. It doesn’t have to be Pride Month for a lesbian couple to feature in an article thumbnail!

Of course, these are just three examples, but there’s much more. Looking for more ideas? Like we said earlier, try asking ChatGPT!

 

Conclusion

Knowing how to be more LGBTQIA+ inclusive is one thing, but you also need to know why. Time and again, research has shown that businesses with more diverse workforces – across gender, race, sexual orientation and other identifiers – have higher productivity, higher profits and higher morale.

In fact, stock prices rise on average by 6.5% for businesses who implement inclusive policies for their LGBTQIA+ staff. So that means supporting them means supporting your business too – it’s a win-win!

We'd love to hear your thoughts and insights; is there anything your business does to support the community that you're particularly proud of? Do you think we've missed something in our article? Or have you got any further questions? If so, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at hrtechuk@closerstillmedia.com!

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