May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia - IDAHBOT

Vince Scopelliti - Monday, May 17, 2021

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). IDAHBOT is a great opportunity for organisations to highlight their commitment to LGBTQIA+ inclusion and diversity, and to reinforce the position that discrimination has no place within their business.

The importance of inclusive, non-discriminatory workplace practices and culture is not a new concept. In fact, the conversation about inclusivity has been going on for decades. In addition, workplaces have been obliged to not engage in discriminatory practices for many years...so why is discrimination still an issue, and what can employers do about it?

Policies, Procedures & Training

Documenting and describing your company’s commitment to LGBTQIA+ inclusion is the first step. Training staff (particularly human resource staff and front-line managers) is the second. This is essential in order to ensure that all staff are provided with clear information regarding your business' commitment to inclusion, as well as ensuring those responsible for supervising and managing staff have been afforded the opportunity for professional development and learning in relation to workplace discrimination.

It is also important to clearly communicate the steps that people need to take to query or complain about a workplace practice or the conduct of an employee if they believe it breaches organisational policy. All concerns regarding discrimination should be reviewed and investigated – this demonstrates both your committment to eliminating discrimination, and your dedication to improving the diversity and culture of your workplace.

Visibility Matters

Promoting the visibility of your organisations committment to inclusivity is a great way to introduce or enhance a culture of safety and diversity. Simple and effective ways to improve your organisations visible support of LGBTQIA+ people include:

  • Displaying posters and signage of LGBTQIA+ inclusive flags in workplaces
  • Describing the organisation's committment to inclusive recruitment practices when advertising positions with in your company
  • Displaying LGBTQIA+ committment statements on your company’s website
  • Reviewing web copy, brochures, corporate documentation, forms and promotional material to ensure that your company's use of images, photographs and language is inclusive and contemporary.

By enhancing the visibility of your committment to inclusiveness, your organisation gives a clear signal to internal and external stakeholders that you value and respect diversity.

Discrimination and Bias

Identifying when and where discrimination occurs within your business is another important task. We often think about discrimination as overt, direct and explicit – a cisgender candidate being offered a job over a more qualified trans candidate for example. Whilst this type of discrimination sadly does still occur, discrimination arising from unconscious bias or implicit bias is more common, and also more difficult to detect and correct.

Unconscious bias describes the attitudes we hold about others as reinforced by our own personal environment, identity and experiences. Our preconceived beliefs, attitudes, perception of stereotypes, and social perceptions of gender identity and sexual identity can all result in the formation of unconscious bias.

In the workplace, unconscious bias about LGBTQIA+ people could impact the way your organisation advertises, recruits, selects and manages staff. Whilst not intentional, it may still be discriminatory and can adversely impact your workplace culture and your employee experience. Investigaing complaints or concerns relating to possible unconscious bias can also be difficult and complex experience.

Reflecting on individual and collective unconscious bias in the workplace can assist leaders and managers to identify opportunities for improvement, and contribute towards building diverse and inclusive workplace practices.

WISE Workplace proudly celebrates International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination. All people have the right to live and work free from discrimination. WISE Workplace is committed to providing an inclusive and safe workspace for all, and to ensuring our clients are empowered to implement best practice policies to protect the rights of asasasasa employees. If your organisation requires support in managing complaints or investigations relating to discrimination, WISE Workplace can assist your business, reach out on 1300 580 685 – admin@wiseworkplace.com.au


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