May 28th, 2021 | Jennifer Husereault, Alexis Boisvert

Beyond Pride Month: The Need to for Inclusivity in the Workplace

The North American movement for LGBTQIA+ rights began in June 1969, when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn resisted the New York Police Department’s attempted raid, drawing widespread attention to the legal discrimination against sexual and gender minorities. Montreal and Vancouver would host the first official Canadian Pride marches in 1977, later followed by other major cities.

Today, Pride events are widely held around the world to celebrate the culture and commemorate the achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community, reminding society at large that diversity and acceptance are drivers for positive change.

Having Pride in Your Organization

Nowadays, most organizations acknowledge the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Hiring talent from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences opens up new perspectives and drives innovation. Employees who feel genuinely included will also be more likely to think of themselves as part of a team, boosting morale and productivity across the company. While organizations may recognize the importance of embracing their LGBTQIA+ employees, however, they may not know what an inclusive workplace looks like in practice.

Committing to Empowering Employees

Here are our insights at Sterling Backcheck on creating a welcoming work culture for LGBTQIA+ workers:

If employees don’t know where their colleagues and leadership stand, they may not feel included. Consider communicating a visible message of affirmation to LGBTQIA+ employees across the entire organization and giving your staff a way to join in. For this purpose, Sterling has launched the SAFE program (Sterling Acceptance for Everyone). The program encourages employees to express their support through the display of the SAFE symbol in communication channels, such as company billboards and email signatures. The SAFE symbol represents a commitment to treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, while upholding a culture free of homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and all other forms of discrimination. All employees can participate in the program for an increased sense of ownership in the organization’s inclusive culture. As expressed by one of our employees, “I have felt welcome to express my true personality through their Safe Space campaign. Thank you Sterling Backcheck for offering me the opportunity to thrive whilst being my authentic self.”

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.