Making a difference - our bigger story
News 17th June 2019 2 minutes read
With Pride Month already well underway, now’s the perfect time to focus on the issue of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. It’s a subject that Green Park’s Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Nicola Paul, deals with every day, as she helps organisations develop and implement long-lasting and inspiring change.
With a background in the retail and legal sectors plus a Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication, Nicola bases her insight on practical experience and the latest expert thinking. So, why is LGBTQ+ inclusion so important at work? And what happens when people feel obliged to hide who they really are?
“If you have to suppress a fundamental part of your personality, you can’t be yourself or the best person that you can be. And that can have serious consequences not only for you, but also for your employer. For example, depression and anxiety often affect people who feel they need to hide who they are or whom they love. Organisations have more work to do to ensure that everyone feels free to be themselves – and to celebrate those who feel able to speak proudly about who they are.”
The good news is that more organisations than ever are keen to create a more open, LGBTQ+-friendly workplace. However, off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solutions won’t solve the problem. Instead, Nicola recommends a four-step process to bring about wholesale cultural change.
Although Nicola warns that skipping steps one to three is unlikely to be effective, she says that there are some basic changes that all organisations can make, such as making sure that HR policies include and acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community.
However, the key for Nicola is bringing the organisation on the journey as changes are made. Only by moving forward as one, can organisations create the inclusivity that will lead to a diverse workplace.