June is Pride Month, bringing with it the perfect opportunity for organizations to celebrate the progress made by the LGBTQ community and its contributions to business and society.
Recently, the Human Rights Campaign released their fascinating 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which quantifies how inclusive organizations are of LGBTQ employees. It reviews non-discrimination policies, benefits for LGBTQ personnel and their families, and public commitments to LGBTQ equality.
The CEI rating criteria have four key pillars:
- Non-discrimination policies across business entities
- Equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families
- Internal education and accountability metrics to promote LGBTQ inclusion competency
- Public commitment to LGBTQ equality
The report notes that many of the businesses who scored highly in the Index are also top-performers in their industries. In fact, an impressive 83 percent of the Fortune 500 include gender identity protections in their nondiscrimination policies, and 97 percent of companies participating in the survey offer explicit gender identity non-discrimination protections. Fifty-eight percent of the Fortune 500 and 79 percent of organizations that participated in the survey offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage.
The rate at which Fortune 500 companies include both sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies since has risen since steadily since 2002:
It’s evident that these renowned companies understand that creating an inclusive workplace where their employees can produce their best work serves not only the staff but the organizations as well. As the Index reveals, LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies are becoming increasingly popular in U.S. companies and within their global operations.
Here are a few ways your organization can celebrate Pride Month:
- Raise the Flag
Does your company have a flagpole? Fly a rainbow flag with pride. Doing so will not only indicate your support but tell your community that your establishment is a safe and welcoming place for talented members of the LGBTQ community to come work.
- Hold Inclusivity Events
Many LGBTQ organizations offer training seminars to increase workplace sensitivity year-round, but they’re particularly in-demand during Pride Month. If your employer hasn’t held one since you began working there, you may want to ask them to schedule LGBTQ sensitivity training and organize inclusivity events for LGBTQ and allies alike.
- Encourage Employees to Show Support
While complying with your organization’s dress code – or suspending it for a day – allow employees to wear LGBTQ pride-themed clothing and jewelry. Rainbow pins, earrings or flags.
- Collect Donations for an LGBTQ Charity
Your organization may want to consider collecting donations from employees for a local LGBTQ charity. Perhaps the company itself can match donations or otherwise pitch in.
- If not already in place, consider establishing inclusive policies
As evidenced by the Corporate Equality Index, appending corporate non-discrimination policies with sexual orientation and gender identity clauses is working for Fortune 500 companies. To help ensure a more diverse and productive workplace–and attract the best talent–it may time to consider instituting such guidelines at your own organization. Study what gains could be realized by providing equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families. Establish internal education and accountability metrics to promote LGBTQ inclusion competency. And consider having your organization make a public commitment to LGBTQ equality.