What LGBTQIA Inclusion Means for Your Workplace The Nova Collective Blog Graphic

What LGBTQIA Inclusion Means for Your Workplace

Research consistently shows that inclusive workplaces lead to increased job satisfaction, greater innovation, and higher overall productivity. Inclusive workplaces aren’t just about compliance or meeting quotas, it’s about nurturing a healthy workplace people want to be a part of. 

How to Support LGBTQIA identities at work

Though not separate  from other strategies for cultivating DEI in the workplace, here are some ways we can specifically focus on fostering an LGBTQIA-inclusive workplace:

1. Implement Inclusive Policies

Review, revise, or create your organization’s policies through an equity lens focused on gender identities and sexual orientation. For example, consider adding  gender affirming benefits to your insurance policy, and your parental leave to make it gender expansive. 

Tip: Consider collaborating with DEI experts to audit your organization’s policies and content.

2. Offer Regular Learning and Training Programs

Offer your team a range of learning opportunities to better understand LGBTQIA perspectives and experiences, and to gain tools to challenge assumptions around hetero-normative standards and gender binaries at work.

3. Practice Gender Inclusive Language

Assess your language choices both personally and on an organizational level. Practicing gender inclusive language is a powerful way to promote gender equity and reduce gender bias in the workplace. 

4. Support LGBTQIA Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Encourage and provide resources for ERGs, as they can provide a space explicitly for LGBTQIA employees. ERGs are also a valuable way for organizations to learn about the needs of their members, and how to support them. 

5. Promote an Inclusive Culture

Foster an environment where inclusivity is celebrated, and diversity is embraced. This should be seen and felt throughout your organization from its policies, mission, and performance metrics.

We all deserve to feel safe, seen, and welcomed in the workplace. This Pride Month, we encourage you to commit to one action to support and educate yourself about the LGBTQIA community. 

LGBTQIA Defined

LGBTQIA is an inclusive term that represents a diverse community of individuals with different sexual orientations and gender identities. Here’s what each letter in the acronym stands for:

  • L – Lesbian: A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay or as gay women. Avoid identifying lesbians as “homosexuals.” Lesbian can be used as a noun or adjective. Ask people how they describe themselves before labeling their sexual orientation.

  • G – Gay: A sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender. The term can also be used to refer exclusively to men whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same gender (as in “gay men”)

  • B – Bisexual: A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders. Some people may use bisexual and pansexual (generally a person who is attracted to people regardless of their gender identity or biological sex) interchangeably.

  • T – Transgender: An adjective used most often as an umbrella term and frequently abbreviated to “trans.” Identifying as transgender, or trans, means that one’s internal knowledge of gender is different from conventional or cultural expectations based on the sex that person was assigned at birth.

  • Q – Queer: Queer is an umbrella term used by people who do not identify as straight (heterosexual) and/or cisgender. Historically used as a slur, this is a term that has been reclaimed by some individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community in a self-affirming way, though it can be considered offensive if used by individuals outside the LGBTQIA+ community. It may be used to refer to all LGBTQIA+ identities at once (“queer rights”) or may be used by some individuals to describe themselves without specifically enumerating queer identities.
  • I – Intersex: An umbrella term used to refer to bodies that do not fall into strict biological male or female binary categories. Experts estimate that upwards of 2% of individuals are born with intersex traits (about the same as the number of people born with red hair).

  • A – Asexual: A person who identifies as asexual does not experience (fully or mostly) sexual attraction or desire for other people.

    * The Nova Collective (2024, March 15). Nova glossary. https://thenovacollective.com/nova-glossary/

 

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