During Pride Month 2021, Boden Group will be focusing on building strategies to help support LGBT+ in FM and diversity in the workplace through better hiring and recruitment practices.
As members of the LGBT+ in FM network, it’s an important issue for us, and one we hope to be able to have an impact on over the coming months and years.
The main purpose of the LGBT+ in FM network is to create a safe and supportive culture within the facilities management industry and highlight it as a rewarding and attractive career choice for LGBTQ+ colleagues.
About the LGBT+ in FM Network
Founded in 2016, the network pools expertise and resources to create a support network for all LGBT+ people and allies within the industry. Our aim is to create a sense of community and support, as well as provide guidance to companies just starting their journey, or without large infrastructures.
As a group, our purpose is to:
- Amplify the voice of the LGBT+ community
- Share best practice
- Provide advice and support to one another and to non-members who seek it
- Create opportunities for our employees to network, listen to inspirational guest speakers and attend Pride parades together
With the IWFM estimating that 10% of the UK workforce is made up of the FM sector, there are now likely to be over 200,000 LGBT+ colleagues working in facilities management roles. As an FM recruiter, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we’re promoting recruitment processes that are inclusive, and hiring practices that support diversity.
Ending discrimination for LGBT+ in FM
According to a 2013 survey by The Williams Institute, LGBTQ employees who feel they have to hide their identity at work feel greater levels of stress and anxiety, leading to health issues, lower job commitment and engagement, and work-related complaints.
We’re committed to ensuring an end to discrimination against LGBT+ in FM, and we will work with the organisations within the network to share advice and best practice across our entire client base.
For FM organisations wanting to improve their LGBTQ+ diversity, here are 5 easy to implement tips:
1) Make your inclusivity values clear on your website
Your website will be the first place people look to get an idea of the kind of culture you promote. Make it clear what you stand for, and that inclusivity and respect are values that are important to your business.
2) Provide discrimination training
Make it standard, across all teams, to provide training on discrimination policies. It should be a standard part of the onboarding process, as well as throughout the year, that employees are reminded that they are expected to talk to all their colleagues with respect and act with integrity.
3) Create a culture of transparency
Your employees should feel safe to provide feedback and report bullying or intolerant behaviour. They should know that their concerns will be taken seriously and handled swiftly and sensitively. Managers and business owners need to make space for LGBTQ+ colleagues to feedback on how to improve inclusivity and be ready to act on that feedback where possible.
4) Support LGBTQ+ charities and causes
Get involved in fundraising and awareness events that show your commitment to improving inclusivity and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. By supporting and LGBTQ+ charity, you position yourself as an inclusive employer, and also give voice and visibility to the issues those team members have faced throughout their lives and careers. By getting employees involved in volunteering opportunities, you’ll benefit from better employee engagement and staff retention.
5) Partner with LQBTQ+ networks
Especially important if you are a smaller organisation without your own LGBTQ+ network. Learn best practice, gain advice, and hear from a wider range of voices. You can also use these networks to extend your hiring reach, by advertising vacancies within them.
The FM sector hasn’t always been the most diverse sector to work in. We’re pleased to have witnessed significant change in this area over the recent years, but there’s still a long way to go, and we believe that, as recruiters in the FM space, we have a responsibility to help ensure better diversity, inclusivity, and equality.
Through the LGBT+ in FM committee’s work, societal change and greater efforts from employees to support differing communities, the workplace of today is shifting to become more inclusive, dynamic, and varied. We’re proud to be a part of this.