June is Pride Month, when many companies make gestures of support, like launching inclusive ad campaigns or updating their social avatars with rainbow flags. However, one of the most tangible, visible and meaningful ways to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community is through equitable hiring, allyship, and inclusive workplace practices.
Have organizations made progress? Absolutely. Is there more work to be done? You bet.
Companies that actively support LGBTQ+ employees need to do so during Pride Month and all year long.
Where things stand with corporate LGBTQ+ support
According to the Human Rights Foundation's "Corporate Equity Index 2022":
- 98% of CEI-rated employers specifically include "sexual orientation" as a part of their nondiscrimination policy.
- 91% of CEI-rated businesses 1,160 of 1,271 respondents offer at least one transgender-inclusive plan option with current market standard coverage.
- 99.7% of CEI-rated employers explicitly include "gender identity" as a part of their nondiscrimination policy.
Yet, just 77% of participants say they provide inclusive benefits for same- and different-sex spouses and partners.
Adzuna, an Indianapolis-based job search engine, recently analyzed job vacancies across ten countries hosting major Pride parades to identify which regions have the most LGBTQ-inclusive job ads. The finding: Only about 25% of U.S. job ads actively encourage LGBTQ+ applications from job seekers.
That doesn't necessarily mean they don't welcome LGBTQ+ workers, but rather that their job ads don't reflect it through inclusive language or a diversity statement that encourages applications from minority groups.
Gender diversity in hiring benefits everyone involved. That includes those doing the hiring.
According to the McKinsey & Company report, "Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. For ethnic/cultural diversity, top-quartile companies were 33% more likely to outperform on profitability."
Hiring diverse talent brings different minds and varied problem-solving skills to the table, and the results are all the better for considering diverse views and life experiences.
Moving the needle on LGBTQ+ workplace practices
So, how do you recruit diverse candidates with the help of technology? It begins with inclusive job descriptions.
- Enlist software that does sentiment analysis to help "de-bias" postings, identify exclusionary language and suggest alternatives to attract a diverse candidate pool.
- Embrace artificial intelligence (AI), which is key to reducing human bias in recruiting.
- Feature inclusive photography and videos on your career website that reflect your organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Ensure your workforce understands and embraces diversity and inclusion policies and lives them every day.
- Practice what you preach by supporting LGBTQ+ causes and charities, providing LGBTQ+ competency training, surveys and policies that live out said support.
On the most basic level, employers should look at updating, and clearly outlining their policies with gender-neutral language, providing parental leave for all genders, and offering additional benefits, such as adoption leave. The LGBTQ+ community needs to know you support them without asking.
Why content matters when it comes to LGBTQ+ support
In many ways, content is king provided your organization walks the walk. Diverse talent needs to know you're serious about having an inclusive workplace and seeing it in action. A vital place to start is with content. It's one of the main ways you can deliver clear, transparent, consistent messaging that demonstrates your commitment to the community within your organization.
Bottom line: people want to work for organizations that care about and support them, where they enjoy what they do, and where the pay, benefits, and culture promote a sense of belonging.
It's up to you to tell that story and to tell it well.