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Four Workplace Actions Toward Addressing LGBT+ Discrimination and Expanding Inclusion

A recent study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, and Workplace Pride was made in collaboration with over 8,000 United States research participants from professional organizations identifying as members of the LGBT+ community. The researchers summarized four key actions for how employers can address the continued realities of workplace discrimination against LGBT+ people, as well as enhance their work settings in creating more inclusive environments.

  1. Fill the LGBT+ leadership pipeline through developing early career programs with LGBT+ talent, mentorship programs, corporate sponsorships, and employee resource groups. Employers can help to create optional self-identification programs for employees with LGBT+ identities to better help their personal and professional developments.
  2. Communicate clear respectful expectations for employees that value belonging through regular education on LGBT+ inclusive practices, such as leadership training for handling workplace bias, using equitable and inclusive goals into performance reviews, and utilizing inclusive language throughout the workplace setting.
  3. Institute non-discrimination policies and practices to create an equal and equitable work environment, which could include gender neutral restrooms, transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, equitable dress codes, and LGBT+-friendly family leave policies. Continue to evaluate such policies and practices’ efficacy through employee resource groups.
  4. Use brand eminence as a tool toward positive change. Employers can collaborate with employee resource groups in staying up to date on legislation related to LGBT+ rights, use their corporate brands to offer pro-LGBT positionality statements, and partner with organizations that enhance LGBT+ rights locally and globally.

By: Anthony Schmiedeler


Striving for Authenticity: LGBT+ views on enduring discrimination and expanding inclusion