At WorkGenius, we celebrate what makes us different and we’re proud to be allies of the LGBTQ+ community. When WorkGenius was founded in 2012, our co-founders were determined to create a digital space that empowered people to work without the setbacks of a traditional workspace. The values of WorkGenius are based on a philosophy to provide merit-based, equal work opportunities to everyone in a non-discriminatory virtual environment. We believe that talented workers should be able to get jobs matched to their skill sets regardless of their racial or ethnic background, gender, social class, and/or family obligations.
The State of the LGBTQ+ Workforce
In the past decade alone, we’ve seen companies make some progressive changes in their inclusivity policies but there’s still major work ahead. The HRC Foundation reports that nearly 50% of LGBTQ+ workers are closeted at work and 31% expressed being unhappy and depressed. The most cited reasons for this include hearing homophobic jokes in the office, being told to dress more heteronormative, and simply feeling that HR would do nothing to resolve the issue. Even more alarming, nearly 97% of transgender employees have reported experiencing harassement at work in some form due to their gender identity. It’s suffice to say that despite progressive work policies, workplaces are still not a safe space for all employees.
Bring Empowerment Back
An alternative solution for those that feel discriminated in an office setting is remote workspaces and digital workforce platforms. Accenture reports that remote work, along with flexibility, and autonomy can actually be key components in promoting an innovative mindset to LGBTQ+ employees. Similarly, digital workforce platforms are not only remote but allow workers to work flexibly on their own time and autonomously.
Along with alternative solutions, we also need to look into creating effective changes in traditional workplaces. ADP’s CFO states that the best way for a company to start changing a workplace to be more inclusive is through discussions, even if informal, and start regular programs for all employees to learn about the LGBTQ+ community. Another great way for your employees to get together are support groups; this can help your LGBTQ+ employees feel like they are supported by leadership and are in a safe space. There are many routes that companies can take to open the bridge but as long as a company culture is built around education and having open conversations, it will be a step in the right direction.
Beyond these solutions, we can even take a look at ourselves and ask if we’re actively or passively promoting equality around us. To be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community or any marginalized group means that you don’t stop celebrating after a month but you do continue to advocate. Vocalize your concerns, especially when you see discrimation around you; whether that’s in the workplace, your community, or even in your personal group of friends and family. We can actively make the workforce and the world around us a more inclusive place but only if we commit to it.