June is Pride Month which has got us thinking a lot about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the responsibility of HR in supporting and encouraging this.

Many employers have the opportunity to build and strengthen the foundation of their organisation with an inclusive culture. One that encourages employees to bring their full selves to work. Unfortunately, discrimination and exclusion occur in a lot of workplaces and it is disheartening to see and hear about employees that feel the need to hide their identities at work, and fear that being open could hurt their careers. Employers need to provide more support in this area of identity.

For organisations that fail to promote an identity inclusive environment, this is a missed opportunity. Seven out of ten LGBTQ+ talent say that they avoid applying for companies that lack support for diversity. Not having or choosing to ignore implementing supportive structures in your work environment and policies mean that you could risk missing out on hiring quality talent!

It’s not just diversity that needs to be implemented in your workplace, its inclusion and acceptance as well. That is the difference between tokenism and true equality. It is not just simply being in the meeting; it’s having your input valued and respected too.

Culture is the key:

  • Break room comments and office “banter” should be taken seriously.
  • Take on board ALL of the voices and opinions in the meeting, not just the loudest.
  • Foster relationships with LGBTQ+ organisations to get training, learning and wider understanding of how to adopt positive culture changes and awareness in support.

Feeling confident enough to speak up and know that others have your back is the kind of work culture everyone wants, and your workplace can thrive with this mindset when put into practice.

Happy Pride month! Let’s continue to strive for a more inclusive, accepting workplaces in New Zealand.