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Posted on February 23, 2017

Transparency in LGBT Communications

LGBT Transgender Communication

Last year, our CEO published a response (see below) to North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” Way back in spring 2016, it was widely viewed as the most anti-LGBT law in the country.

Of course, the LGBT community faces a number of new challenges today. And while this recent order focuses primarily on repealing protection for transgender students, this is a critical time to communicate with – and show your support to – your employees.

Transparency in LGBT Communications:

  • Get your LGBT employee resource/employee advocacy groups involved in any communications you’re planning. They can advise on what sorts of concerns they’re hearing from their members. ERGs can also help shape messaging in the most sensitive way.
  • Be sure you understand the laws and regulations in your state, as well as your company’s anti-discrimination policies. And then, check yourself: do your company’s policies align with your values? Of specific concern are rules about which bathroom transgender employees can use – it’s a question that all employers must consider and decide how to address. Again, this is where an employee resource group can be particularly helpful. ERGs can help advise on how all employees are feeling and how best to address questions and concerns.
  • No matter what your company’s position or policies, you must communicate with your people. At a time when issues of inclusion and discrimination are top of mind for employees, companies must be transparent. This is your opportunity to reinforce your commitment to a diverse and inclusive work environment:
    • Ensure that your Diversity & Inclusion program and policies are ready for today’s challenges
    • Invite open discussion and feedback
    • Ensure managers understand how to respond to and address issues in a sensitive and values-driven manner
    • And most importantly, ensure that the company’s words match its actions. Once your company puts its stake in the ground in terms of its views and philosophies on diversity, make sure that all policies and business decisions align with those beliefs.

 

Jackie Berg