Research from Hays has revealed that employers are committing to better supporting LGBTQ+ staff as over half of professionals (55 per cent) say their employer actively supports its LGBTQ+ community. However the survey suggests there is room for improvement however as close to a third (31 per cent) of staff said they were unsure if their employer supported its LGBTQ+ community, whilst more than one in 10 (14 per cent) said there was no support available for LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Hays conducted a survey with over 1,300 responses and the research echoes findings from the Hays Diversity & Inclusion Report 2018, which found several organisations don’t support key diversity events such as Pride, International Women’s Day or Mental Health Awareness Week. A third of professionals said their organisation rarely or never supports these occasions.
Hays is urging employers to not only celebrate events such as Pride, but to also consider setting up LGBTQ+ employee and allies networks to educate and encourage colleagues to work together to realise the significant benefits which are to be gained at both an individual and organisational level of working within a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace.
Hays has recently launched its own Pride Network for LGBTQ+ employees and allies with the aim of working across the business to continue to focus on making Hays a great place to work, where people can be confident that their voices will be heard, their opinions respected and where people can be their whole selves at work.
“The creation of LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces is an increasingly important consideration for employers who are looking not only to retain and support staff but also to attract future talent to their organisation,” said Yvonne Smyth, group head of diversity at Hays. “It’s positive to see that over half of professionals believe their employer is already taking steps to do this, however, organisations can be doing more. Embracing an LGBTQ+ workplace with a signal of intent and an understanding of its attraction to existing and future staff is fundamental to an inclusive and respectful culture.
“We know that people from all backgrounds who feel they can be themselves in the workplace will flourish and be more productive, which is why as a business we are proud to support diversity and inclusion with the insight, energy and commitment of our own Pride Network,” she added. “With the help of the Network, we aim to celebrate the differences that make us strong, whilst giving employees a platform to raise awareness of issues, encourage debate and help us all to make progress.”
While Pride celebrations provide a great prompt to get started or reach forinclusion goals, Smyth encourages companies to remember that the focus should not be lost when the celebrations end. “Rather employers should look ahead to future aspirations supported by a series of commitments and activities on how to get there,” she says.