LGBT Center of Raleigh

119 East Hargett Street - Raleigh NC 27601 - 919-832-4484

Fully Integrating LGBTQ Employees in the Workplace

Elaine Martin Power of Diversity

Creating a positive and inclusive workplace has been a part of cultural discussions for a while, yet many companies struggle with how to fully integrate LGBTQ employees and include diversity in their overall talent management strategy.

This is where Elaine Martin steps in. She owns and advises companies on ways to create an inclusive work environment for attracting prospective LGBTQ employees, particularly transgender individuals.

Elaine spoke about how to locate organizations that promote diversity on February 20, 2019 at the LGBT Center of Raleigh. During her talk, Elaine outlined several policies companies implement to address discrimination, unfair treatment, and harassment, as well as ways to encourage a healthy work environment. Below are some key points from her presentation.

Signs of Workplace Diversity

Examine the EEO statement.The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statement is a public and obvious indication of a company’s attitude toward diversity and inclusion. If you want to want to figure out a company’s openness and inclusivity, the first step is looking at the strength of its EEO statement.

Look up ratings on the CEI. Use the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a measurement tool developed by the Human Rights Campaign,  to see how companies stack up on their diversity policies. Many prospective transgender employees use the CEI to determine whether a company has adopted transgender inclusion initiatives. Elaine specializes in transition policies and helps companies understand why a plan is important for a company’s overall Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Proudly display corporate values. A company’s corporate values can reflect its mission to support diversity and inclusion, workplace culture, and how it manages and nurtures its employees. If diversity is appreciated as an asset, rather than feared as a divisive issue, you’ll see how leaders champion diversity as a strength for the long-term wellbeing of the company. Corporate values should be public and available on a company’s external website.

Promote employee collaboration and perfect your marketing. Senior leadership should have implemented LGBTQ initiatives that “put the walk in the talk.” Look for an equal opportunity employer by figuring out if there are any Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or groups of employees that share similar characteristics or life experiences, e.g. LGBTQ, People of Color, etc. Also, examine social media posts and images on the company’s website. Marketing is a surefire way to spot diversity in procurement.

The Bottom Line

Creating an inclusive, supportive work environment will strengthen a company’s reputation and its brand, drawing better candidates for open positions and retaining top talent. Elaine demonstrated how she has worked with companies to help employees feel secure and supported by policies that engender acceptance and positivity.

Message to employers: When LGBTQ employees feel valued, an organization will run with greater efficiency and produce better profits. You’ve got everything to gain by hiring a diverse workforce.

Message to job seekers: Use the above highlights to locate a company that values the perspective you bring to the organization and how you can serve a wide audience of customers and clients.

If you need a specific service and want a LGBTQ-friendly provider, click through the Resources section on our website.

published on 3/19/2019 • written by Lex

Upcoming Events