Together with a shifting perception of what is an identity and understanding how it shapes our experiences in culture, many contemporary businesses have set their sights on building a diverse and inclusive workplace, which nowadays often form a core part of their values. With thousands of employees all over the world, they lead the way on global LGBTQIA Rights and the growth of legal policies in many countries in which they operate.
Before we dive into the business world and discuss the challenges the LGBTQIA individuals are facing in the workplace (next blog post), let's start with language. You may have come across different acronyms like LGB&T, LGBT, LGBTQ, or GLBT but they all refer to a more inclusive term that embraces Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) individuals. A common denominator for all of these groups is the concept of gender and sexuality that, being socially constructed, leaves a little room for what is perceived as a deviation. It is crucial to realize that sexual orientation actually only means to whom we are attracted romantically and sexually but is NOT a determinant of a gender. Yes, the relationship has been established for the purpose of certain order, ease of classification and simplification that humans love. But, if we drop all that, and let the freedom of thought take over, we might suddenly realize that not everything is what it seems. In fact, nothing really is. And just as humans created this factitious division, it is humans who have the power to transform it.
And that is exactly where the problem begins. Because on one hand we have people who are led by the belief that there is one certain world order, not questioning where it comes from, whether it was imposed on them or artificially created. On the other however, there are those who break through the uniformity of the system and refuse to blindly follow it. Now, these two groups still co-exist on one planet Earth and their paths cross. And no, they do not need to SETTLE their differences. They simply need to learn how to respect them.
It is crucial but extra tricky in the professional environment. Why? Because it is easier to fake your true attitude in the professional environment where you need to remain just that - professional. There is therefore, a kind of consent for cultivating your negative emotions under the guise of professionalism. Nevertheless, introducing measures to develop an inclusive workplace, where everybody feels respected and valued, and to attract diverse talent is of vital importance for achieving not only business goals, but a global goal to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.