For many years, LGBTQ+ people have been “tolerated”, and tolerance was the norm. Today it’s about full recognition and acceptance and being intolerant of anything less. Company cultures should also be intolerant of discrimination, bigotry, exclusiveness and hate.
Have a 100%-intolerance policy, including anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies toward LGBTQ+ employees.
Recognize and respect the coming out journey giving people the space and support to come out on their own timing and terms.
Review and update other policies. Employers should ensure that all anti-harassment, bullying and nondiscrimination policies include LGBTQ+ individuals.
Make sure policies such as dress code expectations are neutral without gender stereotypes. Policies requiring women to wear make-up or prohibiting men from wearing jewelry should be replaced with neutral expectations.
Having policies in place is just the first step in creating a safe an inclusive culture at work where all employees are treated fairly. Leadership must model inclusive behaviors and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to disrespect and incivility at work.
Support LGBTQ+ Employee resource groups (ERGs). Leadership can do this by attending ERG meetings and providing resources.