The answer to this question may seem obvious, but the article Managers Guide to LGBTI Workplace Inclusion published by Pride in Diversity (and available through the members log-in details that can be obtained from the Law Society) provides some interesting aspects to think about in relation to your organisation:
- Employee Value Proposition (EVP): this is what your organisation offers to prospective and current employees in addition to the role and / or remuneration, “it’s that which tells an employee that the culture is one in which they can personally thrive”
“LGBTI inclusion has often been described as the litmus test for how serious an organisation is about creating a workplace culture that is inclusive and accepting of all diversity. It’s a tough space and one that many employers are still hesitant to work in. People feel that if employers are getting it right in this area, then it’s a pretty good indicator of how well they are doing with the whole inclusion piece.”
- Career progression: “Just as you can’t tell someone is gay by looking at them, a person can’t tell by looking at you whether or not you would have an issue with it. Would knowing their orientation, gender identity or intersex status change your working relationship with them? Would it impact their career? Would they now be seen as the ‘gay lawyer on level 3’ instead of the ‘great lawyer on level 3’? Would you either consciously or unconsciously revert to stereotypical assumptions? Would it matter to you? Would it matter to the team?”
- Clients and stakeholders: as noted above in relation to career progression – employees may feel unsure about how their employer will respond to them, likewise there will also be clients and stakeholders who will feel the same way.
“The way that we engage with others is paramount to our success as an organisation or agency. However external messages of inclusion can be detrimental if the lived employee experience internally doesn’t match up. To be successful in whatever our endeavour, we need to ensure that both our external and internal messages are one and the same – one of inclusion.”
- Reputation: Managers Guide to LGBTI Workplace Inclusion references Harris Interactive data that shows that “74% gay and 42% straight consumers are less likely to buy products from organisations holding negative views of lesbian and gay people.” Further, the incoming generations of prospective employees “are increasingly discerning about potential employers and their diversity track record”.
- Workforce reflective of society: “Australia is diverse. Our workforce needs to reflect that.”