Helping Small Businesses Build More LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces

The wave of events that occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic began – from the unrest over George Floyd’s death to the anti-Asian violence – prompted many business leaders to take steps to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in workplace. Businesses’ commitment to workplace inclusion is critical to addressing systemic inequalities and building communities that expand opportunity to all.  

It is well-known that today’s employees want to work for businesses that value diversity, equity and inclusion. The U.S. Census predicts that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. More importantly, studies show that this generation of workers is willing to change jobs when organizations fail to make DE&I a priority, especially when it comes to creating a workplace where everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, can thrive. 

This is one of the reasons why, in 2018, the U.S. Chamber Foundation and the Gill Foundation launched Incorporating Inclusion, a first-of-its-kind research and education initiative to demonstrate the value of an LGBT-inclusive workplace, and help businesses of all sizes foster the environment to attract and retain LGBT talent, partners, and customers. Our findings revealed that LGBT-inclusive companies attract better talent and decrease employee turnover through authentic internal and external LGBT-inclusive practices.  

Through those efforts, we also learned while larger companies had the bandwidth and personnel to lead such programming, smaller companies can lack the resources and expertise to do so. Further complicating matters is today’s employees and consumers have stronger opinions than previous generations about the actions companies take in this area. Silence or missteps by businesses can have important implications.  

That is why the U.S. Chamber Foundation created the LGBT Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses – an online platform for small business owners to find the resources and inspiration they need to build inclusive workplaces. This online portal enables small business owners and local LGBT chambers to ask for and receive general ideas and guidance about becoming more LGBT-inclusive.    

If you are a small business owner looking to learn more about LGBT inclusion and how you can take an intentional step forward, visit our website to get started. 

The U.S. Chamber Foundation will be hosting an event on June 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET to discuss best practices for small businesses looking to develop more LGBT-inclusive workplaces. Register here.