Updated: Oct 11
We're thrilled to share some ideas on how to build a workplace that fills you with PRIDE and makes everyone feel included and welcome. So, let's dive into these simple yet impactful ways to foster inclusivity and create a workplace you can be truly proud of:
1. Educate and Empower Your Team:
Boost your team's inclusivity know-how! Provide training to ensure they understand the significance of language and behavior. Training on Unconscious Bias is a great starting point to encourage your team to be mindful of language habits they may have that can be unintentionally exclusive. We love this LinkedIn Learning focused on Unconscious Bias by Stacy Gordon. Additionally, to learn about the importance of allyship, check out Kenji Yoshino’s LinkedIn Learning course, Becoming an Ally to All.
2. Revamp Job Descriptions:
It's time to freshen up those job descriptions, my friends! Review and revise them to remove any gendered language. Using “he/she” to describe the hypothetical person in the role is dated and unnecessary. Instead, use “they” or “the TITLE OF ROLE” to describe that person, and focus on skills and qualifications. We love this article from ML6 for more information on How to Write Gender-Neutral Job Descriptions! You may also consider using a tool like Textio to eliminate hidden language bias in written materials.
3. Embrace Gender Neutrality in Applications:
Bring your application forms up to date by offering gender-neutral options alongside the traditional categories. Give candidates the freedom to self-identify and share their pronouns or chosen name. By offering options for candidates to share their pronouns and chosen names, your company is taking the stance that all are welcome to be who they are.
4. Train Interviewers on Inclusive Techniques:
Equip your interviewers with the language and tools to conduct inclusive interviews. Teach them how to create an inviting atmosphere that welcomes candidates of all gender identities and orientations. We love this training on Uncovering Unconscious Bias in Recruiting and Interviewing by Dr. Tana Session.
5. Cultivate an Inclusive Culture:
Beyond the hiring process, foster inclusivity in your organization's culture. Take a look at dress codes and ensure they allow for self-expression, and avoid requirements that align with a particular gender. Consider establishing gender-inclusive restroom facilities to create a safe space for everyone. This can be an easy change if your company already has single-person restrooms by updating signage from traditional signs and using a generic “restroom” sign that does not assign a particular gender to single-person spaces. An even stronger stance is establishing no-tolerance policies as they relate to discrimination, harassment, and bullying.
6. Normalize Use of Pronouns:
Make pronouns a natural part of your workplace dialogue. Encourage employees to add pronouns to their email signatures, and remember it's a personal choice. By offering this as an option and not requiring use of pronouns, it leaves space for those who may not be ready to share a gender identity with their colleagues. A way to bring this into an interview process or new colleague is to introduce yourself with your name, pronouns, and title to show it is a safe space for the candidate/new hire to do so, if they choose. For example, “Good morning! My name is Alex, I use the pronouns she/her/hers, and I’m the HR Director.” From there, move forward with the conversation– no need to directly invite the other person to share pronouns. Now that you’ve created a safe space, they will share if they wish!
We love this guide from Out & Equal to understand the context of different pronouns:
7. Use Neutral Language:
When addressing groups, choose language that includes everyone. Opt for neutral terms that don't assume gender. Let's make sure everyone feels seen and included. We love this verbiage outlined by Out & Equal:
All of you
8. Get involved and support LGBTQIA+ Initiatives:
Show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community by partnering with relevant organizations. By doing so, you can actively contribute to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. If you’re not sure where to start, the Human Rights Campaign has volunteer opportunities that are both local and virtual. We encourage you to search for other organizations that may be local to you and/or align with your organization.
9. Keep Learning and Growing:
Opportunities for inclusivity are always advancing and opening new doors, so stay curious, read up on the latest resources, and continue to learn about best practices. We've included some resources we love and have found helpful in compiling this list:
Out & Equal - What’s Your Pronoun
Out & Equal - Best Practices for Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace
Remember, this list includes great first steps to creating an inclusive culture and recruitment process, but by no means is it fully inclusive of everything that can be done to be an ally and support the LGBTQIA+ community. Let's keep learning, champion inclusivity, and make our workplaces places where everyone feels valued and accepted.
While we cherish and celebrate Pride during the month of June, it's important to keep this mindset alive all year round.