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Blog - LGBT+ History Month - creating more supportive workplaces

LGBT+ History Month - creating more supportive workplaces

Posted by Tracy Powley 14/02/20


With Phillip Schofield making the headlines coming out at age 57, an important message for the business world is how managers and leaders can create an environment where people feel accepted for who they are. Younger people coming into the workplace should feel able to be themselves – not spend huge amounts of energy disguising who they are for years on end, for fear of bullying or discrimination. Stonewall’s recent research revealed that More than a third of L.G.B.T. staff (35percent) have hidden that they are L.G.B.T at work for fear of discrimination.

When it comes to changing attitudes and stereotypical thinking in the workplace, we could borrow some valuable lessons from the work done by leading L.G.B.T+ and inclusion advocate Shaun Dellenty in schools across the U.K.

Shaun is a multi-award-winning teacher trainer who has been facilitating L.G.B.T+ inclusive learning communities since 2009.  He was named one of the 100 most influential L.G.B.T+ people in the U.K. and designated a ‘Point of Light’ by the U.K. Prime Minister for services to both L.G.B.T+ and education communities.

His recent book offers practical guidance to primary and secondary teachers and leaders to enable schools to bring about organisational change to ensure the safety, success, mental health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff.

The messages are as relevant to the business world, as they are to educational settings…

  -   Challenge prejudicial language – for example where words such as “gay” are used as an insult

  -   Create visible support – for example, profiling senior managers and leaders as role models for the L.G.B.T+ community, establishing networks for L.G.B.T+ employees and highlighting the role of allies

  -   Equip managers and leaders to create non-judgmental, open working environments where people feel able to speak up

It is by taking specific steps such as these that we will start to make sustainable change to our workplace cultures.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you create a genuinely inclusive workplace and help remove some of the barriers to inclusive working, call us on 01903 732 782 or email us or contact us.

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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