LGBTQ+ History Month: Celebrating Diversity and Fostering Inclusion in the Workplace

5 minutes

What is LGBT+ History Month, and how can your company get involved? We've got all the an...

What is LGBT+ History Month, and how can your company get involved? We've got all the answers right here, so keep scrolling to learn more.

LGBTQ+ History Month, celebrated in June in many parts of the world, serves as a time to recognize and honor the contributions, struggles, and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history. Beyond its cultural significance, this month also presents a valuable opportunity to educate and celebrate within the workplace. Fostering an inclusive environment that embraces diversity not only supports employees' well-being but also contributes to a more innovative and productive workforce. In this blog, we delve into the importance of LGBTQ+ History Month in the workplace and explore ways to educate and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

What is LGBT+ History Month?

It is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans, and non-binary (LGBT+) history. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. 

Title: LGBTQ+ History Month: Celebrating Diversity and Fostering Inclusion in the Workplace

Understanding the Significance of LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month is more than just a celebration; it's a platform to amplify the voices and experiences of individuals who have been historically marginalized. Recognizing the struggles and achievements of LGBTQ+ activists, artists, thinkers, and leaders highlights the progress made toward equality and acceptance. In the workplace, acknowledging this history is essential for building a culture of empathy and understanding.

When is LGBT+ History Month?

Every year LGBT+ History Month takes place in February because that was when it was initiated by the LGBT+ Education charity ‘Schools Out UK’ in 2005.

Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick founded LGBT+ History Month in the UK as part of a Schools Out UK project in 2005, following the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act in 2003, which stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship in any maintained school."

What is the goal of LGBT+ History Month?

The month's goal is to raise awareness about the challenges that the LGBTQI+ community faces, as well as to educate young people about the history of the LGBT+ rights struggle and to promote an inclusive modern society.

Why is it important to foster Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace?

It's no secret that a diverse perspective fosters innovation, creativity, and a sense of belonging among employees, enabling them to bring their whole selves to work. The need of fostering a culture of inclusion and human rights efforts in the workplace is recognised by most organisations.

According to a recent poll, 25% of the LGBTQ+ population has faced discrimination at work because of their sexual orientation, and 31% have felt sad or depressed as a result. These figures alone demonstrate the relevance of educational awareness initiatives such as LGBT+ History Month.

Recognizing your LGBT+ coworkers' successes, learning more about LGBT+ history, celebrating diversity, and considering how you can help to create a more inclusive society as an employer.

What should businesses be doing for LGBT+ History Month?

Several LGBT+ History Month initiatives are available to help businesses honour and support LGBT+ employees during this time.

• Take actions to make workplaces more inclusive to LGBT+ coworkers and customers, such as evaluating corporate regulations and putting in place safeguards for LGBT+ personnel.

• Host webinars to raise awareness of LGBT+ topics and concerns affecting LGBT+ persons.

• Encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees to talk about their experiences at meetings, events, or webinars to raise their visibility.

• Share LGBT+ resources with coworkers to assist them better understand what it means to be LGBT+ and how it may effect their employment. In the Inclusive Employers member's area, you can get this and other resources for free.

Education as a Catalyst for Change

Education is a powerful tool for dismantling biases and fostering empathy. In the workplace, providing opportunities for employees to learn about LGBTQ+ history and issues can lead to greater acceptance and inclusion. Lunch-and-learns, workshops, panel discussions, and documentary screenings are effective ways to educate employees about the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of creating safe spaces for everyone.

Sharing Personal Stories

Humanising experiences through personal stories can create a profound impact. Encourage LGBTQ+ employees and allies to share their stories in safe and supportive settings. This can promote understanding and empathy among colleagues and help break down stereotypes.

Allyship Training

Allies play a crucial role in creating an inclusive workplace. Offering allyship training programs can empower employees to support their LGBTQ+ colleagues effectively. These programs can cover topics such as using inclusive language, recognising microaggressions, and fostering a welcoming environment.

Celebrating Diversity Through Art and Culture

Art and culture have the power to transcend barriers and foster connection. Organize events that showcase LGBTQ+ art, films, literature, and music. Celebrating the creative achievements of the community helps employees appreciate the diverse perspectives and talents that enrich the workplace.

Promoting Inclusive Policies

LGBTQ+ History Month is an opportune time to review and update workplace policies to ensure they are inclusive and respectful of all identities. This includes policies related to anti-discrimination, dress codes, gender-neutral restrooms, and preferred name usage.

Amplifying LGBTQ+ Voices

Invite LGBTQ+ speakers, activists, or professionals to share their experiences and insights with your organization. Hearing from individuals who have navigated challenges and succeeded in their careers can inspire and educate employees.

Showcasing LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

If your workplace has an LGBTQ+ ERG, spotlight their efforts during this month. ERGs provide a support network for LGBTQ+ employees and allies and contribute to a more inclusive workplace culture.

LGBTQ+ History Month is a reminder that diversity is a strength, and creating an inclusive workplace benefits everyone. By educating employees, celebrating the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, and promoting allyship, workplaces can become spaces where individuals of all backgrounds feel valued and empowered. As we honor the history and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community, let's also look to the future with a commitment to fostering inclusion, equality, and unity in diversity.

 If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community looking for your next tech role, our tech-savvy recruitment consultants are experienced and can help you find the perfect job for you. Get in touch here to find out what opportunities we currently have available.

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