Despite how far Australian society has come in terms of accepting the LGBTIQA+ community, it’s no surprise that we still have a long way to go. And a new report published by employment expert SEEK confirms that.
In the report, titled Promoting Real Inclusion Diversity and Empowerment (P.R.I.D.E.) in the workplace, it was revealed that LGBTIQA+ employees are still twice as likely than their non-LGBTIQA+ colleagues to be victims of workplace discrimination.
The report highlighted that despite organisations making major improvements to diversify inclusion in recent years, there’s still much work to be done to support LGBTIQA+ employees and to combat discrimination.
Other startling statistics from the findings showed that LGBTIQA+ employees are nearly two and half times more likely to call in sick or skip work due to feeling unsafe from discrimination. More than half (57%) of LGBTIQA+ employees who had experienced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace said the issues were almost never resolved. And a whopping 27% of Australians said they were unsure whether or not they would identify as an ally.
So, knowing all this, what can we be doing to better accept the LGBTIQA+ community in the workplace? Ahead, Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, CEO of The Equality Project, shares five easy ways to start.
Pronouns are a key way people represent their gender identity. By actively using a person’s correct pronoun, you’re showing respect and affirmation of their gender identity. It’s important to remember to use the pronouns and names people want you to use and, as always, if you’re not sure, remember to ask them privately.
Learn About the Communities
Education is key. Talk to people who identify as LGBTIQA+, read books, listen to podcasts, visit businesses or organisations run by people from the communities. Actively listen and understand the issues that are important to the communities. Immerse yourself in their worlds and get a sense of what it’s like to live in their shoes.
Speak Up About Bad Behaviour
Call out anti-LGBTIQA+ behaviour when you see it. Speak up when you see someone being discriminated against because of their identity. The best way to help fight discrimination is to show you are an Ally and will not tolerate it.
Check-in with your LGBTIQA+ Friends
There are still a lot of developments that need to happen across the world for LGBTIQA+ communities to live safely. It’s important to check-in with your LGBTIQA+ mates, especially after a news day filled with anti-LGBTIQA+ developments, as they can take it personally. Reach out to them and let them know that you support them and you’re there for them if they need to talk.
Recognise the Power of Allyship
Your voice and visibility as an LGBTIQA+ ally is a lot more powerful than you think. Recognise your privilege and stand up for what’s right.