Small businesses can be a catalyst for inclusion – at work, at home, and in communities.
Most LGBTQ employees do not feel truly included in the workplace, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group.
Achieving LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace requires a planned, concerted and sustained effort. Employing nearly half of the nation’s workforce, small businesses are essential to fostering inclusive workplaces, but often lack the bandwidth or expertise to address this issue alone.
When it comes to LGBTQ inclusion, one of the biggest challenges faced by small employers is to find the information they need. While resources on LGBT inclusion exist, they are scattered and hard to reach – making it difficult for small business owners to put the pieces together.
That is why the U.S. Chamber Foundation, through its Incorporating Inclusion initiative, built the LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses – an online platform that makes it easier for small business owners to access the information they need to build LGBTQ-inclusive workplaces.
By centralizing the best guidance and solutions in a single place and offering one-on-one expert assistance, the platform empowers small employers that may not have the time or resources to build their own programs.
Our research shows that LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. By adopting LGBTQ-inclusive policies internally and externally, businesses have the opportunity to perform better, attract stronger talent, and help create a culture of inclusion among their employees and communities.
Developed through the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Incorporating Inclusion initiative, the LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses provides tools, resources, and best practices on LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace, as well as one-on-one expert assistance on how to foster LGBTQ-inclusive programs and policies. Read on to find helpful resources for your LGBTQ-inclusion needs.
GET EDUCATED ABOUT LGBTQ PEOPLE AND ISSUES
Why should employers care about diversity and inclusion?
- The Business Case for Diversity in the Workplace is Now Overwhelming (World Economic Forum)
- Remote Work Persisting and Trending Permanent (Gallup)
- How to Know if You Have a Toxic Culture — and How to Fix It (HR Dive)
- Going Beyond a Rainbow Flag at Your Desk: Here's the Business Impact of LGBTQ Inclusion in the Workplace (USA Today)
How can employers better understand the LGBTQ community?
- Glossary of LGBTQ Terms (Out & Equal)
- What Does it Feel Like to Grow Up LGBT+? (Out Leadership)
- LGBT People in the Workplace: Demographics, Experiences and Pathways to Equity (Movement Advancement Project)
- Infographic: LGBT People with Disabilities (Movement Advancement Project)
- Report: Transgender People in Rural America (Movement Advancement Project)
- A New LGBTQ Workforce Has Arrived – Inclusive Cultures Must Follow (Boston Consulting Group)
- Racism in the LGBTQ Community (Out Leadership)
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases New Data on the LGBTQ+ Wage Gap (Human Rights Campaign Foundation)
- Fact Sheet: LGBT Workers in the Labor Market (Center for American Progress)
- 21 LGBTQ Flags: The Names and Symbolism Behind Each (Good Housekeeping)
ENACT NONDISCRIMINATION AND OTHER LGBTQ-FRIENDLY POLICIES
What do employers need to know about laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination?
- Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (EEOC)
- Summary of Local Nondiscrimination Ordinances (Movement Advancement Project)
- Equality Maps: Know the Laws and Policies in Your State (Movement Advancement Project)
- Half of LGBTQ Workers Have Faced Job Discrimination, Report Finds (NBC News)
- LGBTQ+ Workplace Issues (Catalyst)
- Best and Worst States for LGBTQ Folks? Divide Worsens After 'Don't Say Gay,' Report Says (USA Today)
BUILD AN INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN LGBTQ INCLUSION
How can employers create an LGBTQ-inclusive workplace?
- Building an Inclusive Work Culture for LGBTQ+ Employees from Day One (Boston Consulting Group)
- Guide: Strategies for Inclusion and How to Implement Successful Practices around Pronouns in the Workplace (Out & Equal)
- Building a Nondiscrimination Policy with Sample Language (Funders for LGBTQ Issues)
- Best Practices for Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace (Out & Equal)
- Ally Guiding Behaviors for Employees (Out & Equal)
- Pride-Out-Of-The-Box: An ERG Guide to Celebrating Pride Virtually (Out & Equal)
- What LGBT Means and Best Practices for Queer Inclusivity (Out & Equal)
- The Power and Struggles of LGBTQ+ Women in the Workplace (Out Leadership)
- How to Celebrate Employees on Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) and Year- Round (Out & Equal)
- Report: LGBTQ+ Allyship in the Workplace and the Impact of Remote Work (Out Leadership)
- Your Company's Diversity Efforts Need to Include Learning Differences (TIME)
- Majority of Line Managers Not Receiving LGBT Inclusivity Training, Research Finds (People Management)
- How These Companies Support LGBTQ Employees and Communities (Comparably)
UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON LGBTQ PEOPLE
What should companies know when it comes to how the pandemic is impacting LGBTQ employees?
- LGBTQ Employees and the COVID-19 Pandemic (Out & Equal)
- Report: The Disproportionate Impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Households in the U.S. (Movement Advancement Project)
- Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Still Matter in a Pandemic (Boston Consulting Group)
ADDITIONAL LGBTQ INCLUSION RESOURCES
- 10 Valuable Leadership Tips for LGBTQ professionals (Out Leadership)
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE LGBTQ INCLUSION HUB FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?
Developed through the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Incorporating Inclusion initiative, the LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses is an online platform for small business owners who are seeking support to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace for LGBTQ employees. Through this Hub, the U.S. Chamber Foundation seeks to provide an easy-to-use portal for small business owners to receive ideas and guidance about becoming more LGBTQ-inclusive.
WHY WAS THE LGBTQ INCLUSION HUB FOR SMALL BUSINESSES CREATED?
Despite the progress made in recent years, most LGBTQ employees don’t feel their workplace cultures are inclusive.
Employing nearly half of the nation’s workforce, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstone of our communities. Their commitment to inclusion is critical to overcoming the barriers faced by LGBTQ employees, and to creating workplaces and communities that are diverse, welcoming, and equitable for all.
When it comes to LGBTQ inclusion, one of the biggest challenges faced by small employers is finding the resources they need. That’s why we created the LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses – to make it easier for small business owners to access the information they need to foster an environment where LGBTQ employees can thrive.
WHO IS THE LGBTQ INCLUSION HUB DESIGNED FOR?
The LGBTQ Inclusion Hub is designed for small business owners or professionals who are seeking to create a more inclusive workplace environment for their employees or coworkers.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF AN LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE CULTURE?
Inclusion occurs when people with different identities feel and/or are being valued within a given setting. Studies show that feeling a sense of belonging allows employees to feel like they can be their authentic selves without fear of different treatment or punishment—and it has a major impact on performance and retention.
For those wondering how to create a culture of belonging, a report from LinkedIn reveals what employees say they need to feel like they belong. They include feeling like their company cares about them as a person, seeing managers and co-workers that look like them, and having the company values align with their own personal values. Specifically, here are things LGBTQ workers look for in an inclusive culture:
- Clear mission statement supporting LGBTQ people
- Nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression
- Equal benefits for LGBTQ employees
- Pronoun guidelines and training for employees on pronoun usage
- LGBTQ Employee Resource Group or a company-wide diversity committee
- External support for the LGBTQ community