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Fostering Inclusivity: Six Ways to Support LGBTQ+ Employees at Work

·        One in 10 LGBTQ+ individuals have left a job due to their workplace not accepting them*

·        46% of LGBTQ+ workers have experienced unjust treatment in the workplace*

·        Founder of leading mentoring platform PushFar provides insight into creating an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ individuals

In the workplace we should all feel accepted, safe, welcomed and free to be ourselves. And whilst in the past few decades the world has made great progress in LBGTQ+ acceptance, organisations need to do more to support their LGBTQ+ employees.

Shocking research from Stonewall has revealed that one in five LGBTQ+ people have been the target of negative comments at work, with a further one in five stating that they feel being LGBTQ+ limits their job opportunities**.

Now more than ever, organisations need to foster a culture of acceptance, equality and respect and commit to creating an inclusive work environment where everyone can thrive. Here, Ed Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of leading online career progression and mentoring platform PushFar, offers his top tips for supporting LGBTQ+ employees at work and how to create an inclusive workplace environment.

1.      Educate yourself

When supporting LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace, the first step is to educate yourself before you look to educate other employees. Take the time to research things such as LGBTQ+ terminology, attend events and understand the issues faced by these employees. By doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of the experiences and challenges faced by these individuals, so you can put a more effective plan in place to make your workplace more inclusive.

2.      Address discrimination seriously

If you want your employees to feel respected and valued, then you need to show your employees that any discrimination will come with consequences. Establish a strong discrimination policy and take reports of harassment or bullying seriously to ensure employees feel safe in the workspace. Build a culture where employees feel they can report incidents, without fear of consequences, and when problems arrive, you need to promptly take action to ensure the safety of all individuals.

3.      Use inclusive language

Language matters, and when you use inclusive language, you’re making all employees feel included and protected in the workplace. The wrong words can leave employees feeling not only hurt but stigmatised, so ensure that no potentially offensive words are being used by any employee. Make sure to have the right resources in place to help your teams use acceptable language – an example of this could be including things such as pronouns in bios and name tags.

4.      Create LGBTQ+ resource groups

As an organisation, you need to be establishing or supporting LGBTQ+ resource groups. Not only do resource groups enable employees to connect and share their experiences, but they also offer a more effective level of support. When your employees can connect in a safe place, they can more freely express their concerns and relate to other experiences.  These resource groups should also have a voice in the overall organisation’s decision-making process.

5.      Celebrate LGBTQ+ History and Events

Making your employees feel supported goes further than advocating for LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace, so you should also show your support for the entire community. By celebrating and recognising occasions like Pride Month, Transgender Day of Visibility and local LGBTQ+ events, you can really show your commitment. When you involve both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ employees in these celebrations, you’re on the right track to building an inclusive culture.

6.      Implement Mentoring Programmes

82% of people surveyed said that they felt mentoring was extremely valuable to tackling diversity and inclusion challenges head on***. Mentoring can play a crucial role in supporting LGBTQ+ employees, from having a space to share concerns and experiences to gaining further career support.

Supporting your LGBTQ+ employees isn’t something you can do once and expect to see results – it’s an ongoing process that takes time. Having a diverse and inclusive workforce is all about creating a supportive environment for all employees, making them feel seen and taking everyone’s experiences into account during the decision-making process.

For further information about how mentoring can be used to further support diversity and inclusion within your organization PushFar online.


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Notes to Editors: For more information, please contact Sofia Crabtree, Elena Bunbury or Ruby Mortimer at Hatch via [email protected] / 0113 361 3600. *Zippia – LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics, 2023 **Stonewall, 2023 ***PushFar, The State of Mentoring and Coaching, 2023 About PushFar Late in 2017, Ed Johnson was looking for a mentor but quickly realised that mentoring was not as simple or straightforward as it should be. Believing that finding a mentor or mentee should be simple, and with a background in tech start-ups and online business development, Ed decided to build PushFar – a mentoring platform focused on helping individuals and organisations to ensure mentoring thrived. Now, PushFar is a world-leading, global mentoring platform and mentoring software provider, with hundreds of clients. PushFar runs mentoring programs for businesses, charities, universities, non-profits and membership organisations. PushFar was recently listed at within the Startups 100 list for 2023. This list showcases the top 100 UK business startups which exhibit innovation, solid financials, opportunity and growth within their market, a great concept and a strong customer base and following. About Ed Johnson, PushFar Co-Founder & CEO Ed Johnson dropped out of school at 17. While he was able to find a job, he struggled to find a mentor who could guide him in his career. With the goal of making mentoring more accessible, Johnson founded PushFar in 2018. Since then, the company has grown from strength to strength with Johnson serving as the CEO. Recently, Johnson found himself listed in the Forbes 30 Under 30 – Europe – Social Impact list (2022).

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