The month of June means different things to different people. The start of summer; vacation destinations, and Pride Month. But Pride Marches are more than just glitter and rainbows. It is about unity and equality for the LGTBQIA community.
As leaders of financial institutions, it’s important to create a safe, inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees and customers.
To appreciate Pride Month, let’s start with understanding the community. As CNN stated, “Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are… Pride events welcome anyone who feels like their sexual identity falls outside the mainstream — although many straight people join in, too.”
Tips on how you can encourage inclusion within your financial institution.
Recognizing Pride Month doesn’t mean you need to attend a parade. As leaders of financial institutions, it is important to understand your role and how you can be an inclusive environment for both your employees and customers. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are pivotal each and every day; not just during June.
Tips for Creating an Inclusive Environment for LGBTQ+ Customers
- Create a community where LGBTQ+ members and allies alike can “come as they are” and enjoy a financial life that’s supported by a community that understands their hopes, dreams, and challenges. In a survey conducted by Experian, 62% of LGBTQ respondents reported have experienced challenges with their personal finances because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Consider the products you sell and how they may (or may not) meet the needs of trans and nonbinary people needs. For example, consider how preferred names can be used without a cumbersome or uncomfortable process.
- Recognize that your employees and customers are not all traditional families with 2 kids; modern families are made up of different cultures and that services should be reflective of the community. Research shows that customers prefer to do business with companies who have an authentic interest and support in their community.
- If you want to welcome the LGBTQ+ community as customers, include them in your marketing. Promote your organization as LGBTQ+ inclusive – ensure that your LGBTQ+ inclusive information is accessible on your website and communicate LGBTQ+ good news stories on social media.
How to Build an Inclusive Culture for LGBTQ+ Employees
- Support and celebrate your employees’ differences. Being heard is great but being celebrated is even better so invite your employees and customers to share their differences. It’s all about listening and making sure your team members feel heard.
- Diversity isn’t the same as inclusivity. Let’s say that again. Diversity is NOT the same as inclusivity. Inclusivity is the next step to supporting a diverse workforce. An inclusive workplace culture offers far greater benefits, like innovation and productivity.
- Remember that being LGBTQ+ is about being authentic and not having to lie or hide who we are. It’s about living, loving, and expressing ourselves freely and openly, and that affects us all.
- Are your employees effectively trained? Diversity, equity, and inclusion training can make a positive impact on your workforce and community, especially when supported by leadership. Effective training is designed to address valuing diversity, unconscious bias, harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention as well as creating awareness on the sensitivity to social and racial identities.
- Take time to understand your staff. Seeking understanding will help ensure you effectively reach the needs diverse employees may have. Employees who are better understood will be happier and more productive.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion training for the LGBTQ+ community is just the start. Financial institutions need to better understand not only their employees but also the customers and communities they serve. By 2050, Syntrio predicts that 54% of the nation’s population will be a minority.
We’ve expanded our Compliance and Professional Development training, in partnership with Syntrio, to include three new series including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Employment Law and state specific Sexual Harassment courses designed to help manage risk, empower culture and accelerate performance. The learning and education begin today!
Contact us today to create your own training program for your financial institution and learn how OnCourse Learning can help support your training program initiatives.