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Supporting LGBTQIA+ Employees in the Face of Adversity

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

As we enter Pride Month, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity within our workplaces and communities. However, it is equally crucial to recognize the challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community, especially transgender and nonbinary individuals, currently face. The statistics speak volumes: with over 520 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills introduced in state legislatures and a staggering 220 bills specifically targeting transgender and non-binary people, we find ourselves at a critical juncture.

A rainbow backdrop with a fist in diverse shades of brown inside of a white, pink, and blue circle

Amidst this concerning backdrop, it is vital for businesses to step up and actively support their LGBTQIA+ employees. Inclusion and equality should not be mere buzzwords; they should be embedded in the very fabric of our organizations. It is time for us to reinforce our commitment to creating safe and inclusive spaces for all, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Transgender and nonbinary individuals, in particular, are often marginalized and face unique challenges in the workplace. They deserve not only our support, but also our advocacy. As businesses, we have a responsibility to protect their rights and dignity, especially in light of the discriminatory laws being enacted.

Now more than ever, we must prioritize the following:

Education and Awareness

It is crucial to foster a culture of understanding and empathy within our organizations.

  • Provide resources, trainings, and workshops that promote education on LGBTQIA+ issues, including the experiences and challenges faced by transgender and nonbinary individuals.

  • Encourage open dialogue and create spaces where questions can be asked and answered respectfully.

Policy and Benefits

Review and update policies to ensure they are inclusive and provide equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

  • Offer comprehensive healthcare coverage that includes transgender-specific care and support.

  • Establish guidelines for transitioning employees to ensure a smooth and respectful process.

Zero Tolerance for Discrimination

Make it unequivocally clear that discrimination, harassment, and microaggressions will not be tolerated in any form.

  • Enforce strict anti-discrimination policies and provide channels for reporting incidents.

  • Create a supportive environment where employees feel safe and empowered to address any concerns without fear of retribution.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Establish or support LGBTQIA+ employee resource groups within your organization. These groups provide a sense of community, support, and mentorship, creating spaces for networking and sharing experiences.

  • Encourage participation and provide resources to help them thrive and make a positive impact.

  • Fund ERGs so that they can consistently offer meaningful support and engagement opportunities to employees.

  • Provide employees leading ERGs and implementing their programs with time in their work schedules to perform the work of the group. Their labor deserves to be prioritized and compensated.

Advocacy and Support

Take a stand as a business by joining advocacy efforts, both locally and nationally, to fight against discriminatory legislation and promote equality.

  • Support LGBTQIA+ organizations and initiatives that work towards inclusivity and social change.

  • Use your platform and influence to amplify the voices of historically excluded, underrepresented, and marginalized communities.

Let this Pride Month be the beginning of year-round efforts to engage, support, and advocate for your LGBTQIA+ employees. By actively supporting and uplifting our LGBTQIA+ employees, particularly transgender and nonbinary individuals, we can create positive change within our organizations and society at large. Together, we can work towards a future where equality, respect, and dignity are the cornerstones of every workplace.



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