June is Pride Month in the Greater Toronto Area, and on June 1, the Mayors of Toronto and Mississauga will raise the Rainbow and Transgender flags at their City Halls to proclaim the start of Pride 2022. During the month of June, hundreds of rainbow flags will be swirling in the wind and decorating store windows and websites, all of which is a great boost to LGBTQ2+ awareness and inclusion.
If you are an employer working towards an authentic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policy for inclusive hiring, retention, training, customer service, and overall culture, it is important to equip your business with a lens that includes an informed and meaningful strategy that is specifically LGBTQ2+ focused.
Here are six steps to consider if you want to adopt a more inclusive workforce:
- Understand Terminology: What does LGBTQ2+ refer to? It’s important to learn and understand what this umbrella term stands for and its meaning.
- Celebrate History: Canada is one of the most progressive countries in the world with respect to LGBTQ2+ rights. This international reputation was earned due to the work of countless advocates who established new legislation over the past 25+ years.
- Implement LGBTQ2+ Training: Offering professional development as part of diversity training can be a powerful approach to educating staff. It can help to ensure DEI policies are understood and that everyone feels a sense of belonging.
- List Pronouns: Adding pronouns to email signatures has become a way for everyone to normalize not assuming someone’s gender.
- Incorporate Gender-Neutral Language: Using gender-neutrality in written business correspondence and emails, and verbally in phone calls and in-person, is an important step to acknowledging that language matters.
- Create inclusive benefits: It’s important to ensure that your benefits meet the needs of LGBTQ2S+ employees.
It is incredibly exciting that more Canadian businesses are investing in DEI as part of workplace culture and the hiring process. Diversity is a huge topic and companies who are truly DEI aware will experience the positive benefits of including DEI in the workplace.
Achēv welcomes partnerships with businesses that are striving toward creating workplaces that are welcoming and supportive of LGBTQ2+ employees. By adding LGBTQ2+ to your DEI discussion and allowing Pride flags to decorate office cubicles, you are taking a valuable step toward equitable work environments for everyone.
To learn more about how you can adopt a more inclusive workforce at your company and/or how Achēv can support your business, contact Francesca D’Ambrosio, Director, Achēv Inclusion at: FDAmbrosio@achev.ca.
Lisa Trudel (she/her),
Career Specialist, Achēv