1. Don’t be afraid to be a role model and be vocal in your support
Attend Pride marches, speak at diversity events, talk about diversity in your company newsletters. For young people coming into our industry, having role models that they can not only identify with but also learn from and be mentored by is vital to the ongoing benefit of the industry as a whole. You’re a leader – that means you’re a role model. So own it and be vocal about the issues you support.
2. Make diversity (including LGBT+ inclusion) a standing item on the agenda at Board meetings
Change has to come from the top. But unless you have everyone at the top on board, real change is unlikely to happen or stick. Why not put diversity on the agenda and start the discussion – and think carefully about how to track issues, opportunities and progress?
3. Call out the banter
Remember the impact that seemingly ‘harmless banter’ can have on people in your teams – call it out in an appropriate way when you hear it. People will sit up and take note, and you’ll help to set a more respectful and inclusive environment for your employees.
4. Use gender neutral language
Instead of using “gents” or “guys” – why not try using more inclusive language such as “all”, “folks” or “everyone”? Even using “ladies & gents” or “guys & gals” can make more people feel welcome.
5. Finally - remember the business reasons
Not only is it the right thing to do for your employees and your business, there are solid business reasons for creating an inclusive culture: diversity builds resilience and commercial returns, and diverse teams that better reflect real communities are better able to design and build for those same communities.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Pride Month from VIBE and WSP!
VIBE recently hosted its own Diversity in Leadership client event with guest speakers The Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Ian Adams – Westminster’s first openly gay Lord Mayor; and WSP Executive Leadership Team members Steve Smith and Rachel Skinner. To get in touch with VIBE, contact [email protected]