Poster for the International day against homophobia and transphobia 2012 : sexual and gender diversity in the workplace : it pays off !
 

What are the benefits of inclusion ?

Most people will agree being inclusive is good, and it definitely benefits your LGBT employees, but inclusion is also a good decision for your company as it has many benefits : 

Staff retention

In many cases, companies that fail to offer a workplace environment that welcomes LGBT people will lose employees without knowing why.

Also, an open work environment will incentivize people to join a company.

Increased productivity

Research tends to show that homophobia and transphobia at the workplace can contribute to decreasing productivity, can weaken people from sexual and gender minorities, and can hinder their full potential to develop.

Money saving

Workplace discrimination of any type is expensive for companies. For example, psychological harassment and bullying can lead to mental illness and psychological occupational diseases.

Moreover, discrimination is illegal and can lead to lawsuits.

Work-family balance

Work-family balance also concerns LGBT people. The proportion of LGBT people who have children is expanding as they gain more rights, but not all them will talk about it at work, as a lot of LGBT people will hide their identity from their coworkers.

The declaration of a single status in the employer's records does not necessarly mean that the person has no parental responsibilities. Some people might declare to be single to avoid having to come out, or they might have children from previous relationship.

Did you know ?

According to our 2012 survey: One-third of Canadians think that showing their openness to sexual diversity would be an asset to a company when hiring young graduates looking for work.

Hiding your true self is a lot of work !

To keep one's orientation hidden often means lying on a daily basis, which can be exhausting. Think about it, how often do you talk about your spouse, dates, celebrities that you find attractive or even who you spent the week-end with ?

A welcoming workplace

 

Most people will agree being inclusive is good, and it definitely benefits your LGBT employees, but inclusion is also a good decision for your company as it has many benefits : 

Positive attitudes

Discomfort with the sexual orientation or gender identity of workers often gives rise to an indifference that will be the obstacle to real inclusion. Fight indifference with positive actions (adopt anti-homophobia and transphobia policies, use inclusive vocabulary, etc.) For more ideas, see the guide below.

Feeling safe

Feeling safe and even good in your workplace is essential. Being LGBT is not a choice. The only choice that exists is to hide one’s identity or to reveal it. Often people who trust their coworkers choose to reveal it and are relieved. Hiding one’s identity can become extremely burdensome. By having the freedom to be who they are, LGBT employees don’t have to worry about hiding anymore and can build healthier relationships with their colleagues.

Coming-out

Businesses, institutions and employers can create welcoming workplaces by demonstrating positive attitudes and creating workplaces where it feels sage to be oneself. But it is always up to the person concerned to disclose their sexual orientation, to whom they want and when they want to. Do not disclose the identity of a person without their consent, or pressure someone to come-out.

Fondation Émergence has produced an information guide on the integration of trans people into the workplace. It was developed in partnership with the Trans Aide du Québec (ATQ) and aims to provide employers with the tools they need to ensure a work environment free of transphobia. Unfortunately, for now, this guide is only available in French.

In addition to this guide, video vignettes have been produced to present stories of successful integrations of trans people into their workplace.

 

Survey results

survey 2012 chart graph being openly gay at work

According to our survey, conducted in 2012:

  • Three-quarters (76%) of Canadians say they would hire, without hesitation, a new employee whom they know to be homosexual, but 15% would hesitate.

  • 55% (vs. 61% in 2006) say that it is difficult for someone to openly show their homosexuality in the workplace.

  • According to one-third (34%) of respondents, showing their openness to sexual diversity would be an asset to a company when hiring young graduates looking for a job. For 57%, it would have no impact.

Original edition

 

© 2018 by Fondation Émergence
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About us

Fondation Émergence's mission is to educate, inform and raise public awareness about the realities of people who belong to sexual and gender diversity. This includes, but is not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and 2-spirit people.

Contact us

Fondation Émergence inc.
C.P. 55510
Centre Maisonneuve
Montréal (Québec) H1W 0A1

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