In the month of June, it is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. If you are not already aware, this abbreviation stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and society has recently become a lot more accepting within communities which include work places. Views which were once quite narrow minded have changed to understanding and acceptance although there is still progress to be made. People no longer have to hide away in the shadows and be afraid of being who they truly are any more as attitudes are changing rapidly.
Pride month is a way for people to celebrate their diversity with like minded people and this inevitably spreads awareness. The workplace and the people within, should create an environment where LGBTQ+ staff can feel comfortable being themselves and be fully supported.
It really wasn't too long ago that people who were not of a straight sexual orientation, would hide their sexuality for fear of being discriminated against which could have far reaching negative effects upon all aspects of life. However, nowadays, it is illegal to be discriminated against by an employer because of your sexual orientation and there are certain laws that have been put in place to protect you against harassment and bullying at work. The Equality Act clearly describes that you must not be discriminated against because of certain orientations, how people perceive your orientation or even connections to people of certain orientations.
Educating the workplace regarding colleagues’ differences and understanding the impact that this has upon the bigger picture can go a long way in creating acceptance and reflecting on attitudes that may have no place in this modern age of inclusivity. Changing your attitude does not necessarily mean having to change your behaviour but it does mean that you become more educated, more understanding, more open minded, more respectful and also respected and in turn you become a good and trustworthy friend and colleague who will actively listen and does not judge. An inclusive workplace where diversity is celebrated can often be the place that not only attracts a talented workforce, but one that can retain and expand that talent.
A working environment should be a place where all colleagues feel comfortable, accepted, included and understood, whatever their differences, be it race, religion or sexual orientation.