LGBTQ+ inclusion initiative is not a new thing in US-based companies. However, recently, most parts of the world have been embracing the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the workplace.
Recent research estimated over 10 million American adults identify as LGBTQ+ members. Although the number represents less than 5% of the U.S total population, another survey revealed that tech states such as San Francisco, Atlanta, and Seattle have LGBTQ+ communities standing at 2-3 times the national average.
Regarding the high numbers of persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, queer, or gender questioning (LGBTQ+), leading global companies have shown an enormous commitment to embracing inclusivity and diversity regardless of one’s gender identity.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, most companies have improved their policies to make them LGBTQ+ community-friendly.
In tech hubs such as San Francisco, many companies and private organizations are steadfast in improving policies in favor of LGBTQ+ persons. Famous companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, among others, have lively employee rapport groups. Start out supports and promotes LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship. The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technology Professionals and Lesbian Who Tech provides opportunities for professional networking for LGBTQ+ and their allies.
The urge to support and establish LGBTQ+ inclusive programs in businesses is not new for San Francisco and Silicon Valley companies. So, what does inclusivity bring to the workplaces?
Businesses that are more inclusive create an environment of trust and communication, an essential aspect of a successful business. Research shows that LGBTQ+ persons who are out at the workplace are more productive and have better co-worker relationships.
The study further reveals that openness promotes greater participation in the workplace. Knowing that you do not need to hide your true self and that your workplace respects who you are is the key to harmonious employee relationships.
According to the study, 92% of LGBTQ+ business heads believed being out at the workplace improves relationships with co-workers.
In businesses that embrace openness, there have been formations of internal groups of LGBTQ+ persons and allies to show representation and support of the community. For instance, Google’s LGBTQ+ employee group (Gayglers), an internal group formed to show support for LGBTQ+ employees through events such as the annual Pride march in all major cities in the United States, community awareness, and conferences.
Benefits of LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Workplace
The major link between productivity and LGBTQ+ inclusivity is employee engagement. According to a survey, healthy employee engagement leads to higher productivity and profits.
Businesses that are LGBTQ+ allies send a clear indication to the entire company that they value each person regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Related: Inclusion Practices at LGBTQ and ALL
The following are some ways on how companies benefit from inclusivity at the workplace:
Healthy relationships and understanding between co-workers are the keys to having a productive team. Some prominent companies have a structure that is adaptable, leading to an increase in reliance on teams. The productivity of teamwork determines the productivity and the success of the whole company. This is because a team comprises different people with different skills, increasing productivity in different areas. A company that champions diversity allows its workers to be more comfortable in collaborating and contributing to the company’s success.
LGBTQ Inclusion Brings High Engagement
Promoting inclusivity leads to equality and a diverse working environment. An open and inclusive company increases employee satisfaction by creating a sense of ownership among the workers. Additionally, when a company is LGBTQ+ friendly, there is a sense of pride evolving throughout the environment, leading to more business deals.
More Problem Solving
More inclusive businesses are effective at ensuring a high-communication tradition. Inclusivity creates a conducive environment for people to speak up in case of a problem and the freedom to contribute to solving it.
LGBTQ+ members who are not out at their workplace are less productive than those who are out. By being inclusive, the company creates room for this community to be confident in pointing out problems and coming up with new ideas.
An LGBTQ+ inclusive company motivates its LGBTQ+ employees to work hard towards the success of the business. When all people are treated with respect and fairly regardless of their sexuality, they are more motivated. This is not the case for people who feel oppressed due to their sexuality. The non-inclusive company often has unsatisfied or less motivated staff. A company’s productivity depends on the motivation of its staff, meaning the more motivated team the company has, the more productivity.
Innovation is the key to maintaining a competitive company. Companies such as Google are aware of this hence their nurturing of inclusive policies. 83% of employees who claim that their companies are committed to diversity are likely to consider that the company offers innovative solutions.
Most LGBTQ+ inclusive companies are at the frontline in terms of innovations since their staff is free to develop new ideas without feeling discriminated against.
How LGBTQ+ Inclusion Benefits Companies – Final Thoughts
As stated above, there are lots of ways that a company can benefit by being LGBTQ+ inclusive. The LGBTQ+ community members are capable in terms of innovation, creativeness, solving problems, among others. These are the key points to a competitive and profit-making company.
Being an inclusive company means harmonious relationships between the employees that may increase the company’s productivity. Additionally, no one should be discriminated against or be denied an opportunity to show their capabilities.