Happy Pride Month! As we raise our flags whether as a member of the LGBTQ+ community or as an ally, let us make sure that the spaces we navigate, including our workplace, are gender inclusive.
What do we mean by being gender inclusive?
- Form a culture that is accepting of gender diversity ; does not tolerate acts of discrimination
- Free from behaviors informed by stereotypes or other societal expectations
- Provision of equal opportunities and fair treatment regardless of SOGIE
What are 5 ways we can exhibit this behavior?
1. Enact policies and projects that would educate workers on gender issues
In creating a healthy work environment that values inclusivity, it is essential to adapt this in the workplace. In doing so, organizing and participating in policies and projects that educate company workers on gender issues and other related matters is the way to go. This can be done in simple, yet engaging activities, such as gender sensitivity trainings/seminars or the establishment of anti-discrimination policies and other policies that advocate for employee’s rights regardless of gender. These established policies and projects will do more than inform individuals on how to promote gender inclusivity, but will foster an environment of respect and acceptance in forming healthy relationships.
2. Keep the hiring and promotion process free form gender disparity
To ensure equal rights and opportunities for all, it is important to exclude any potential biases, injustices, and inequalities, especially in the case of gender. When hiring new individuals for the company, keep in mind that you are hiring based on potential and skill, not on gender. Creating a secure and welcoming environment is important to keep the company moving and continuously evolving.
3. Use gender inclusive language; avoid gendered connotations
In valuing inclusivity, this comes hand in hand with respect, sensitivity, and proper communication. A way to manifest this is through the use of gender inclusive language when conversing with others, especially with members of the LGBTQ+ community. An example of such could include using the pronoun that the person you are communicating with wants to be referred to as. Asking how they want to be called is a great way to show that you value and respect the person. Also avoid using insensitive language or gendered connotations such as “malambot,” “tibo,” or any other gender sensitive terms. Politely asking how they want to be communicated with is a first step in establishing rapport relationships with your fellow workmates
4. Offer safe spaces and open sessions where employees may communicate their grievances or disturbances.
More than business, the workplace must be grounded on safe spaces where employees may freely communicate their experiences. It may be inevitable for some employees to experience adversity in the workplace, and in the case this does occur, it is important to offer a safe space and open sessions where they may release some tension. Having a reserved area in the building that is surrounded by nature, open light, and calming ambience may help employees feel more at ease. This safe space will be fit for open sessions, where individuals may openly talk to other employees, professionals, and co-workers about what they went through. Communication is key!
5. Lead by example
Lastly, we must realize that change starts with us. To create a gender inclusive environment in the workplace, we must practice this ourselves. Treat others with respect, offer a helping hand, and lead by example. Practicing what we preach will always be a guiding step in creating an environment we want to be manifested wherever we are. Always be mindful of your interactions with others and share your advocacy confidently in order to inspire others to do the same.
Why Should We Practice This?
It is always important to guide your company in the right direction. This goes as far as the formation of character and building employees that respond to the call of the times. Advocating for a gender inclusive workplace will help promote active collaboration amongst employees and avoid potential harm to others. Apart from this, the spaces we form will help make the workplace a more conducive and evolving environment, which could lead to better company performance. Through this practice, every individual in the workplace may collaborate better, while giving as much importance to the way they treat and respect one another.
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Photo credits from: https://www.autonomous.ai/ourblog/how-to-promote-gender-equality