Creating Inclusive Spaces: How Allies Can Support LGBTQ+ Individuals at Work and Beyond 

Fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment is essential to the workplace and that includes providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals. Creating this kind of environment helps employees feel respected and promotes creativity, collaboration and productivity. For allies of the LGBTQ+ community, here are a few things that we can do both in and outside of the workplace to contribute to a positive workplace.  

  1. Educate yourself 
    • Taking some time outside of the workplace to add to your knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community can help you to create a welcoming environment inside the workplace. Begin with the basics such as what the letters stand for and how gender and sexuality are different. You may also choose to discuss these topics with friends and family to gain different perspectives if they are members of the LGBTQ+ community or are more knowledgeable. Learning these foundational pieces of information can help you to create a supportive workplace for LGBTQ+ coworkers. This page on the Youth Pride Association’s website is a great starting point.  
  2. Actively listen 
    • In line with educating yourself, you may also find education in speaking with your LGBTQ+ coworkers. Every LGBTQ+ individual’s experience is different, and if someone’s story doesn’t line up with what you may have read online, that doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. If someone is sharing their experiences, be open to listening and be aware of your reactions; facial expressions and body language can say just as much and speaking out loud, so be sure to consider what your body language might be saying. Actively listening does not come naturally to everyone, so practicing and learning strategies like these can help.  
  3. Share your pronouns where appropriate 
    • When making introductions, it may be comfortable for some to share their pronouns: “Hi, my name is John Doe and I use he/him pronouns”. But for others, it may take some getting used to. One way to work towards normalizing sharing pronouns is to update your email signature. For example, next to your name, you may consider adding in your pronouns e.g. John Doe (he/him). Another practice you may want to implement is including pronouns in your display name for online meetings such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. These might seem like small changes, but combined they work towards creating an inclusive environment  
  4. Promote safe spaces and speak up if someone creates an unsafe environment 
    • Beyond taking these steps, it may also be beneficial to consider joining or creating an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to foster a sense of unity and support among coworkers. The addition of ERGs is beneficial for LGBTQ+ employees seeking resources and for allies who are interested in making the workplace a more inclusive space. Groups like these can implement inclusive practices and if problems arise find solutions.   

Overall, any steps that you take to be an ally and support LGBTQ+ individuals in your life are valuable. If you’re interested in taking a step in educating yourself further, check out our LGBTQ+ Affinity Community page to learn about the types of resources and support LGBTQ+ individuals may seek. 


9 Ways To Be An Ally And Advocate For Your LGBTQ+ Colleagues – Glassdoor 

Five ways to be an ally to your LGBTQ+ colleagues – I by IMD 

By Lily Guberman
Lily Guberman Marketing Assistant