LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH: 8 ways studios can support their LGBTQ+ employees

Creating an environment where all employees feel valued and respected contributes not only to a positive workplace culture but also to the company’s overall success. As we continue our series of articles celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month, we have highlighted 8 actions that studios can take to support their LGBTQ+ employees effectively…

  1. Establish Clear Policies: One of the foundational steps in supporting LGBTQ+ employees is to have clear, written policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. These policies should be prominently set out, easily accessible, and consistently enforced. They provide a sense of security and assurance to LGBTQ+ employees, knowing that the company is formally committed to their well-being.
  2. Provide Comprehensive Benefits: Offering inclusive benefits such as healthcare cover for transgender-specific procedures, mental health support, and family planning assistance demonstrates a commitment to supporting the diverse needs of LGBTQ+ employees. Additionally, companies can extend benefits to same-sex partners and families, ensuring equity in access to resources and support.
  3. Offer Diversity and Inclusion Training: Conduct regular training sessions for all employees to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues, foster understanding, and promote respectful communication. These sessions should focus on dispelling myths, addressing biases, and providing guidance on creating an inclusive environment. By educating the workforce, companies can cultivate empathy and promote allyship among colleagues.
  4. Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Creating ERGs specifically for LGBTQ+ employees and allies provides a platform for networking, mentorship, and advocacy within the studios. These groups offer a sense of community and support, allowing individuals to share experiences, seek guidance, and collaborate on initiatives that promote inclusivity.
  5. Promote Visibility and Representation: Ensure that LGBTQ+ employees are represented at all levels of the organisation, including leadership positions. Celebrate Pride Month and other relevant events visibly, through internal communications, social media, and company-sponsored activities. Representation not only validates the experiences of LGBTQ+ employees but also sends a powerful message of inclusivity to partners, customers, and stakeholders.
  6. Address Microaggressions and Discrimination Promptly: Take reports of discrimination or harassment seriously and respond promptly with appropriate disciplinary action. Establish a transparent reporting process that allows employees to raise concerns confidentially and without fear of retaliation. 
  7. Support LGBTQ+ Causes and Organisations: Demonstrate corporate social responsibility by supporting LGBTQ+ causes and organisations through donations, sponsorships, and volunteer opportunities. Engaging with the broader LGBTQ+ community not only aligns with company values but also fosters goodwill and strengthens relationships with external stakeholders. You might like to consider the games industry’s Out Making Games organisation, for example.
  8. Regularly Ask For Feedback: Actively seek feedback from LGBTQ+ employees through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one conversations. Listen to their experiences, concerns, and suggestions for improving inclusivity within the studio. Incorporate this feedback into ongoing initiatives and strategic planning processes to ensure continuous improvement.

Empower Up has much more advice to provide studios on how to support LGBTQ+ employees. Take a look here.

You can also find a calendar of events for the LGBTQ+ community here.

Photo by Jiroe (Matia Rengel) on Unsplash

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