WANT TO KNOW
Beyond Diversity: An LGBT Best
Practice Guide for Employers, a report
by Great Place to Work and
Pride at Work Canada, is available
here: http://bit.ly/2mVcaKh (free)
Information about the self-paced
e-learning course LGBT 101, produced
by Pride at Work Canada,
is available here: http://education.
prideatwork.ca/ ($50 per license,
bulk rates available)
He points out that organizations may
need to look to external groups such as
Pride at Work or local community groups
to understand who’s missing from internal
representation and what challenges
members of that absent community face.
Beyond Diversity notes that while most
people in and out of the workplace are accepting
of gay, lesbian and bisexual people,
the same can’t be said for people undergoing
gender transition – a population that
continues to face discrimination, isolation
and fear in the workplace.
With that in mind, Beyond Diversity
also encourages organizations to offer specific
support for gender transition in the
workplace. Intuit and TD Bank, for example,
both offer complete or nearly complete
coverage for employees’ gender affirmation
surgery and many related expenses.
ASK QUESTIONS, TAKE
To move the needle, measurement is a must.
“I’m a really strong proponent of data
and data collection,” said Grenier. “I think
sometimes organizations are reluctant
to collect data on this issue because they
think, ‘We don’t want to get in trouble for
asking this question or that question.’”
However, she points out, it’s perfectly legal
to ask questions about sexual orientation
or gender expression or identity, as long as
an organization specifically states what that
information will be used for and doesn’t use
that information against its employees.
Legal firm Grant Thornton, for example,
surveys employees annually to understand
employee perceptions, to measure progress
and to inform its inclusivity priorities.
Inclusivity partners in each business unit
share the results and help teams develop
action plans that are locally relevant.
TAKE IT FROM THE TOP
All the best-laid plans for measurement,
training, policy, ERGs and more are still
likely to fail without support from the top.
“I feel this is the most important piece,”
said Grenier. “There absolutely needs
to be buy-in at the most senior level of
At TD Bank, for example, the company’s
Diversity Leadership Council meets
bi-monthly to set priorities and monitor
progress in all areas of diversity and
inclusion. The group, made up of senior
representatives for all locations and business
lines, reports quarterly to the senior
Buy-in from the top can be realized in
many ways. Having LGBT leaders who
are out can demonstrate an organizational
commitment to inclusion and help with
recruitment and retention. Encouraging
LGBT employees to develop leadership
skills though mentorship programs can
help those employees feel more engaged
and shape their goals for the future.
Beyond Diversity notes an increasing
number of organizations now look at the
inclusiveness of individual leaders as part
of their balanced scorecard review. This
might assess whether a leader takes such
steps as encouraging employees to take
ongoing inclusion education or reviewing
the demographics of pay and promotions
within a team.
IF YOU BUILD IT, REWARDS
“All the strategies we outline in the report
are important pieces of the puzzle,” said
Grenier. “Not one of those steps all by itself
will mean your organization is more inclusive,
but if you put all these pieces together
it’s going to move you in that direction.”
Inclusive workplaces don’t just happen,
but it’s work that brings plenty of rewards.
“We know that inclusive workplaces are
more innovative, that people stick around
longer. We know that high trust workplaces
– where all people feel they can bring
their perspectives to the fold – are stronger
financial performers as well,” said Grenier.
“It makes good business sense, and it’s also
the right thing to do.” n
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MARCH 2017 ❚ 19