This PRIDE month be proud of your LGBTQ+ workforce

Every year the month of June is used to celebrate people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and any other form of sexuality that differs from heterosexuality. We celebrate in June as that’s the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan which was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the USA.

There’s been leaps and bounds of progress when it comes to celebrating different sexual preferences since then (though there’s always room for improvement) and we very much hope that most firms will have LGBTQ+ community members on their payroll.

So this PRIDE month we’re reminding you why they are really worth celebrating and why, as a firm, you should be increasingly proud of all they have achieved.

A diverse workforce is a great one to be part of, whether you’re the employer or an employee. Almost all accountants enjoy working in a team that has a great mix of ages, personalities, religion and ethnicities. It makes conversation more interesting and also ensures that the team are collectively able to be sensitive to the needs of a diverse range of clients! In fact The Harvard Business Review reported that firms with diverse workforces are 70% likelier to capture business from new markets – that’s a big deal to a firm’s bottom line!

And if you want to retain diversity or attract it to your workforce it’s time you showed your employees that it’s ok to be loud and proud!

Make PRIDE month a big deal in the office or the virtual workspace.

By dressing your accountancy firm up with rainbow posters, flags and banners or by using a rainbow themed backdrop on your Zoom or Teams calls, you’ll be making a visual statement that your employees will love. Anyone who might have been concerned about being honest with their colleagues about their sexuality will know they needn’t fret. Everyone should be able to be their true selves at work – as long as clients are happy and the job gets done to a high standard!

Help your team get with the PRIDE programme.

One of the reasons that there is still stigma around sexuality in the workplace is that some of your workers (and maybe even you) are worried you’ll say the wrong thing. We don’t want to offend people accidentally so we just keep quiet which can be mistaken as ignorance or intolerance

Why not hold an inclusivity training session for all of your staff to help them better understand LGBTQ+ history, terminology and what actions your heterosexual workforce can take to narrow the equality gap at work and at home.

Mention the event on your social media and digital channels.

The month of June should see a sea of digital rainbows all over the internet. So if you don’t make reference to how proud you are of the LGBTQ+ community they won’t know that you’re ok with them being themselves. It doesn’t take a moment to celebrate your friends who have had a tougher time being accepted than you have.

Use the month to look at your firm’s HR policies. Even if you’re not responsible for them.

Take some time to check the language and content of all your policies, not just those that focus on Equality and Diversity. Can anything be done to improve them? If you have a colleague that you know is part of the LGBTQ+ community read them together and consider if the use of pronouns feels right to them. If it doesn’t suggest a review takes place to make them better in time for next year’s PRIDE month!

Finally consider how diverse your workforce really is.

And if you don’t like what you see, speak up about it. Creating true diversity in the workplace takes time but it is possible. If you’re a hiring manager, get in touch with a great accountancy recruiter and have an honest conversation about why you’ve been struggling to attract accountants from minority backgrounds. This is a topic we’re well versed in and would be glad to help you with.

“At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we’re proud to celebrate the members of our team and database of firms and candidates who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. There’s so many benefits to being an inclusive, supportive and welcoming society and there’s so much we can do to champion this discussion in the accountancy sector. We’d be delighted to speak to anyone about how they can showcase their LGPTQ+ pride at their place of work. Drop me a line today.”

Garry Howling, MD

We’ve published lots of really helpful resources on our website about diversity in all kinds of areas. If you’ve enjoyed helping us celebrate PRIDE month this year then you may also enjoy the following reads:

Why a diverse workplace is better for all.

Black Lives Matter : What You Can Do

Women in Accountancy: How do we smash the glass ceiling? 

An Employer’s Guide to a Multi-generational workplace


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