Building Lasting Pride in Your Organization

June 20, 2024
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When fostering a culture of pride, it’s crucial for leaders to consider ongoing engagement beyond symbolic gestures during Pride Month. A recent survey by Out-Leadership highlights the current state of the LGBTQ+ workforce:

  • 80% of LGBTQ+ employees are more likely to be out in organizations where senior executives are openly LGBTQ+
  • 9% have left jobs due to nonacceptance of their identities
  • Less than 1% of Fortune 500 board members openly identify as LGBTQ+

What does belonging look like for the LGBTQ+ community?

Our research shows that it begins with providing opportunities and creating a clear space for individuals to engage authentically. Essential to this are organizational policies that include:

  • Protections and benefits regardless of sexual orientation
  • Protections and benefits to support gender identity
  • Inclusive health coverage for the LGBTQ+ community

These systems, policies, and benefits kick-start the journey to belonging, enabling LGBTQ+ employees to feel safe, seen, and able to show up as their true selves.

One of the most critical ways to create a culture of belonging for the LGBTQ+ community is by providing access to individual members. Organizational access ensures employees understand how to influence, build relationships, navigate the organization, and thoughtfully plan careers. Access brings visibility to employees in a way that accelerates success and minimizes inequity.

What is the most impactful way to create access?

Mentorship and sponsorship programs provide trust and confidence in relationships that are crucial for career growth, visibility to leadership, and the ability to influence leadership. Effective sponsorship programs require focused structure and expertise to maximize value for both sponsors and participants. Many fail because they do not understand the needs of the LGBTQ+ community or because the sponsors do not have the skillset to connect and advocate for the participants. Finding a thoughtful and experienced partner ensures your LGBTQ+ initiatives deliver the desired impact.

In order to create successful sponsorship programs, it’s critical to build a culture of belonging through understanding the employee experience, providing the right structure and format, and capability building.

RHR’s approach includes:

  • Program design, facilitation, and development of participants
  • Cultural and leadership assessments
  • Strategic and focused advisory support for sustainable change

Reach out to RHR’s Cristina Jimenez today to learn how we can support your organization’s journey toward belonging and help instill lasting pride in your organization.