Everyone has the right to feel safe, welcome and included in the workplace. This June 2021 Pride Month , we reflect on three simple things anyone can do to support their LGBTQIA+ coworkers and create an atmosphere of inclusion.
1. Avoid Making Assumptions
It’s important to refrain from making assumptions about your coworkers – this goes for their marital status, pronouns and sexual orientation. Small interactions can make a major difference. For example, if your coworker mentions a significant other or partner, rather than assuming their gender, it is best to communicate or ask in order to avoid misunderstandings.
2. Educate Yourself
Spend some time educating yourself and understanding the issues that people in the LGBTQIA+ community face, both in the workplace and the wider community. The Australian Human Rights Commission is a great resource for providing an overview of some of the facts and issues relating to the LGBTQIA+ community in Australia.
3. Keep An Eye Out For Discrimination
Discrimination can often take the form of seemingly small or innocuous jokes or comments. Whilst it can be easy to let derogatory or discriminatory comments slide, they can foster a space of tension and promote a hostile work environment. Take notice of the comments and jokes you make, and avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as being discriminatory. If you hear others partaking in this kind of behaviour, check in with the person that may have been harmed in the process, and report instances of bullying at work.