Tips for Creating a More Inclusive Workplace for LGBTQ+ Employees and Customers

As leaders of financial institutions, it’s important you know your role and how to create an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees and customers. June is Pride Month, a month where the LGTBTQIA community comes together and celebrates the freedom they have found in themselves. The month is named after Brenda Howard, a bisexual New York activist who organized the first Pride parade to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. She was nicknamed the “Mother of Pride.”

In honor of Pride Month, let’s start with understanding the community. CNN shared, “LGBT is an acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The term sometimes is extended to LGBTQ, or even LGBTQIA, to include queer, intersex and asexual groups. Queer is an umbrella term for non-straight people; intersex refers to those whose sex is not clearly defined because of genetic, hormonal or biological differences; and asexual describes those who don’t experience sexual attraction.”

LGBTQ Resources

Here are tips for how you can encourage inclusion within your financial institution.

You may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with me?” Well as leaders of financial institutions, it is important to build an inclusive environment for both your employees and customers. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are pivotal each and every day.

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. Consider the products you sell and how they may (or may not) meet the needs of trans and nonbinary people. 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 white families with two kids. Modern families are made up of diverse people, and your institution’s culture and services should be reflective of the community.  Customers prefer to do business with companies that have an authentic interest and support in their community.
  • Being a supporter of a community means always doing so, especially in those seemingly quiet, low-profile moments when you have an opportunity to stand for what you believe in— even when there is nothing financially to gain from it.
  • 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 what makes them unique. 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 can offer far greater benefits for your institution, like increased 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 topics such as valuing diversity, unconscious bias, harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention, as well as creating awareness of the sensitivity to social and racial identities.
  • Take time to understand your staff. Seeking understanding will help ensure you effectively attend to 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. Syntrio predicts that by 2050, minorities will be the majority of the nation’s population. The learning and education begin today!

Interested in jumpstarting a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training program in your financial institution? Contact us today to learn how OnCourse Learning can help support your training program initiatives.

By |2024-01-12T08:57:15-06:00June 3rd, 2024|Bank, Credit Union, Financial Services, Mortgage|Comments Off on Tips for Creating a More Inclusive Workplace for LGBTQ+ Employees and Customers