June is recognized as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, or a month for celebration and advocacy for individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community as well as the community as a whole. During this time, parades and marches are held both honoring those in the community as well as protesting for legislation that grants equality.
As organizations, there are many ways you can celebrate Pride Month. What is important to remember, however, is that this celebration is about more than changing your company’s logo to rainbow-themed for the month of June or even sponsoring your local Pride parade. Pride Month is a great time to reflect on your company’s policies and practices as they relate to your LGBTQIA+ employees and determine if you are doing everything you can to create equitable and inclusive environments for them.
Before hanging a rainbow flag or including a special Pride Month announcement in your company newsletter, it’s important to take the time to be sure that your commitment to this community isn’t superficial or performative but, instead, shows a real dedication to the improvement of the lives of these individuals, especially those that are in your organization.
Equitable policies and practices for LGBTQIA+ employees
Make it easy to change name and gender in company systems.
One simple way to improve equity for trans individuals in your company is remove any unnecessary barriers to changing one’s name and gender identity within company systems. Provide clear guidance on the process by which individuals can do so and avoid any extra ‘red tape’ where it is not necessary.
Provide generous paid family leave, including for LGBTQIA+ employees.
Another important policy to consider while evaluating LGBTQIA+ equity is your family leave policy. Ensuring generous paid family leave for all of your employees is a crucial step to increasing equity, especially for those that are historically marginalized. These policies should not be gendered, wherever possible, and should include policies for those that choose to adopt or use other alternative ways to grow their families.
Ensure full trans health benefits for your employees.
Health care policies should ensure coverage for all gender-affirming care, including hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgeries, and any other health care that may be necessary for trans employees. Relatedly, companies should ensure that trans employees have fair access to any leave needed in order to receive this care. Within this policy, it is important to ensure that the process by which individuals can request this leave is clear as well as confidential.
Avoid corporate donations to anti-trans politicians.
There is active anti-trans legislation in 45 out of 50 states. These laws vary widely in their scope and aim but all consistently attack trans people’s rights and safety. If your organization is committed to the LGBTQIA+ community, it is important to also practice what you preach in corporate donations. Avoiding donations to those politicians who advocate for this legislation is one vital and important way to signal to your LGBTQIA+ employees that you stand with them and are truly committed to their safety and well-being.
Avoid large conferences or company-wide events in states or countries that are unsafe for LGBTQIA+ individuals to travel.
Relatedly, there are some locations both within the U.S. and globally that are considered unsafe for LGBTQIA+ individuals to travel currently. One important way to protect and advocate for your employees that are a member of this community is to avoid any travel to these areas for company business.This can include avoiding scheduling any corporate event or attending any conference that is being held in these areas. If this is not possible, be sure to make these events optional with no penalty to those employees who choose not to attend.
Inclusive behaviors for LGBTQIA+ employees this Pride Month
Beyond those policies and practices that can be enacted at the company level, organizations should also encourage inclusion throughout their organization. You can read more about increasing inclusion for your trans and non-binary employees here. You can also read more about why pronouns are important and how to use them here.
Encouraging your employees to be accepting and inclusive is a crucial step to take this Pride Month. Increasing education around these ideas through training can be instrumental to showing your LGBTQIA+ employees that you care.
Pride Month is an incredible celebration, earned through years of protest and community. This time of year is so important to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. Encourage your employees to get involved in their local Pride parades and activities, but also be sure to practice what you preach and consider your organization’s own policies and practices. Ensuring inclusion and equity for those within your own company, now and in the future, shows a real commitment to Pride that goes well beyond a rainbow.
If you want to know more about how you can better your workplace by creating a more inclusive environment, contact Mattingly Solutions today. We are always here to support and propel your DEI efforts forward!