June marks the yearly celebration Pride Month. This global LGBT event is celebrated in a number of different ways. The reason June is chosen is that this marks when the Stonewall Riots took place back in 1969.
Abuse towards LGBT Employees
Even though we celebrate Pride, there are still abuse issues happening in the workplace targeting LGBT employees, research has found:
- One in five (19 per cent) lesbian, gay and bi employees have experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years
- One in eight (13 per cent) lesbian, gay and bi employees would not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace
- A quarter (26 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bi workers are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation
- Nearly half (42 per cent) of trans people are not living permanently in their preferred gender role stated they are prevented from doing so because they fear it might threaten their employment status
- Over 10 per cent of trans people experienced being verbally abused and six per cent were physically assaulted at work. As a consequence of harassment and bullying, a quarter of trans people will feel obliged to change their jobs
How to tackle abuse towards LGBT employees
Sexual orientation discrimination is protected under the 2010 Equality Act. If an employee feels that they have been a victim of this type of discrimination they have the right to file a complaint to the relevant person whether that is an HR representative or their manager.
As an employer, it is your duty to investigate into the compliant with care and consideration the same process as it would be for a race, age and disability.
To find out more on the 2010 Equality Act visit the following page.
Celebrating Pride month in the workplace
Throughout the years more and more businesses are joining in the celebration of Pride Month, below are just a few ideas your business can join in.
Raise the Flag – If your business has a flagpole, fly a rainbow flag with pride. Don’t have a flagpole? Try bunting, this will show your local community that your establishment is a safe and welcoming place for all to visit.
Hold Events – LGBT organisations such as Stonewall offer training seminars to help increase workplace sensitivity all year round, they are high in demand during Pride month in June. If your organisation hasn’t held one and you wish them to, ask if they would consider it.
Charity Donations – There are many LGBT charities such as the LGBT Foundation that is always looking for donations. Try something different for your establishment such as a bake sale where all donation money will go to a charity supporting LGBT communities.
Teach & Learn – Regardless of your sexual orientation it is important to understand the issues that affect the LGBT community as these can affect everyone. Tell your employees the facts and if you work with children, teach them about love and acceptance.
Parades – Pride Parades are becoming more and more popular, many companies like to get involved by joining in and showing their support by marching the parade or even having a float.
There are no rules on how to celebrate Pride Month so be creative as you like. Find out where your nearest pride is here.