Here at Hive, we celebrate the people and movements which have helped make workplaces more diverse and equal. So, I’ve put pen to paper for my first blog to bring you some actionable advice on supporting a celebration I’m extremely passionate about: LGBT+ History Month. 🌈
LGBT+ history was commonplace in my childhood. I’m lucky to have parents who are accepting of all regardless of age, race, gender or sexuality. My mum has worked for 30+ years at Newcastle City Council—who were awarded LGBT Employer of the Year 2020—and has taken me to walk in the Newcastle Pride Parade every year, where I first saw the beauty of diversity and the impact LGBT+ inclusion has on society.
LGBT+ History Month takes place every February and is the annual celebration that came in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003—a legal clause which stopped councils and schools “promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.”. The event aims to raise awareness of LGBT+ people and history as a means of making up for the time lost to Section 28.
And while there’s been great progress for LGBT+ rights and inclusivity over the years, there’s definitely still more to be done to make our world a place where everyone is accepted, without exception—and we’re all responsible for building that world. Because to really create a culture that’s inclusive to all, it’s vital that we all speak up, not just those who identify as LGBT+. That’s why we’re working towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and here’s why you should be too…
Why is LGBT+ diversity and inclusion at work important?
The power and impact of a workplace that is truly inclusive cannot be underestimated—workplaces where everyone is accepted for who they are benefit both culturally and financially.
We need to create somewhere everyone can thrive, but it’s all too easy for people to become isolated when they feel they can’t bring their full self to work. Sadly, research shows that 39% of LGBT+ people avoid engaging with their coworkers, and 26% feel sad or nervous at work. That’s what we need to overcome.
The same research shows that 72% of LGBT+ or allies are more likely to accept a job that’s openly supportive of the LGBT+ community. So from collaboration to attracting and retaining top talent, creating an environment where everyone can be their authentic self is a win-win situation.
How to support LGBT+ History Month in your workplace
There are so many resources out there to help you celebrate, educate, and inspire inclusivity in your workplace this LGBT+ History Month. So here are a few ideas and activities, ranging from things you can pick up and run with right now to getting a little more strategic with your efforts:
1. Take a look at the official LGBT+ History Month website
The official website for LGBT+ History Month will always be the best place to start. While their resources are primarily aimed at classrooms, their incredible range of educational resources can be shaped to fit every organisation’s needs; from books and television to activities and events, it’s a one-stop-shop for LGBT+ education.
2. Allocate a Diversity Champion within your organisation
Allocating a Diversity Champion (or maybe more than one!) means you’re always going to be up to scratch on all things diversity and inclusion—like regulations or internal initiatives.
This could be a full-time role, an extra responsibility for one individual who’s passionate about D&I or even a team who are responsible for instilling an inclusive and accepting culture. Take a peek at Stonewall’s Diversity Champion programme to learn more.
3. Display the Voices & Visibility: Hidden Identities wall chart in your workplace
This wall chart provides a brief summary of key moments in LGBT+ history and can be shared and/or displayed to educate your teams about the amazing people who have fought for equality.
If your teams are working remotely, why not share the link on your intranet or in an internal email to voice your support for the cause?
4. Let people know your organisation’s stance on LGBT+ History
Shout loud and proud about your support for LGBT+ History month. Make sure everyone knows your organisation supports acceptance without exception—regardless of sexual orientation.
To do that, your stance has to be well documented, accessible to everyone and communicated regularly with some powerful internal comms campaigns. And remember to include plenty of helpful resources that people can learn from and use to inspire others (keep reading for a roundup of useful resources later 👇).
5. Show that you’re aligning yourself with inclusive organisations
If you really want to practise what you preach, then you need to make sure that your suppliers and partners take the same stance. Make D&I part of your procurement process—and show your people that you won’t settle for partnering with organisations who aren’t committed to D&I.
6. Run a diversity & inclusion survey
The easiest and most effective way to figure out how LGBT+ members of your team are feeling—including whether they believe your organisation is a truly inclusive and accepting place—is to ask them.
Running a diversity and inclusion survey means you learn more about the experiences of those within your organisation, and in turn make better-informed decisions about your D&I strategy moving forward. Make sure that all feedback is entirely confidential (*cough* we can help with that!) to ensure people feel safe to be honest.
How is Hive promoting diversity, inclusivity and equality?
We have our Equal Opportunities policy to ensure fair treatment regardless of demographics—but these policies are pretty much the norm now… it is 2021, right? What you really want to know is what we’re actually DOING to practise what we preach. So here it is:
- Culture Club: we have an internal team set up to discuss all things diversity, equality, equity and inclusion, and make sure this is always at the forefront of our minds. Topics previously covered include gender equality at work, our diversity commitment and our Corporate Social Responsibility.
- D&I FAQ’s: our People Scientists have developed a diversity and inclusion question bank. Our questions address areas including the inclusivity of management/leadership, workplace culture, opportunities at work, behaviour analysis and comfort in being yourself at work. This question bank is available to any customers who are interested in running D&I surveys; just give us a shout!
- Partnership training: we have been lucky enough to partner with some outstanding organisations to help us continually improve our knowledge and approach to D&I. That includes National Awarding Organisation NCFE, who are the awarding body for an exceptional Level 2 Certificate in Equality and Diversity, which many members of #TeamHive have enrolled on to make sure our knowledge is fresh. Oh, and did we mention the qualification is fully funded too?
- Content: we’re working hard to make sure we produce up-to-date content for our customers regarding diversity and inclusion. No doubt things will continually change and evolve, but we’ll always aim to be as knowledgeable as we can to support our customers in their D&I efforts. We’ve even got an exciting cross-functional team going—aka our content crew—to keep an eye on exactly that.
Our commitment to diversity
Hive is committed to providing equal opportunities and improving diversity in the workplace, as well as creating a space and culture where everyone feels included. In other words, we’re building ‘One Hive That Fits All’—which, of course, includes anyone who identifies as a member of the LGBT+ community.
We’re not starting a revolution here—just a safe place for our people to live their best lives. Our goals are simple, but fundamental to who we are:
- To make sure people are treated fairly.
- To acknowledge and encourage differences.
- To create a safe and respectful culture.
- To express our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
And, we’re thrilled to partner with several organisations that feature on Stonewall’s ‘Proud Employers’ index. We’re committed to staying up to date on our knowledge, and working with other committed and inspiring organisations will help us do exactly that.
So join us in supporting and celebrating the beauty of diversity this LGBT+ History Month!
Team Hive’s People Scientists are always on hand to help you with your diversity and inclusion surveys, using our psych-backed question bank and expertise to help you drive meaningful change with employee feedback. Just book an intro to find out more!
Qualifications supported by our partner NCFE
10 Key Questions for Your Next Diversity and Inclusion Survey
Diversity and inclusion is more than just a tick-box exercise these days; thriving organisations know exactly how important it is to create cultures where everyone feels safe and respected.