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Double doses of marginalisation and how to overcome them

Category: LGBT, Diversity & Inclusion, marginalised communities, equality

Being part of a socially marginalised group can create barriers at work. As a member of just one of these groups, the prejudices of superiors, colleagues and clients can be difficult. But when one is a member of two or more of them, things get really challenging. The most inclusive workplaces take conscious steps to make sure that multi-marginalised people can fully participate at work. If you're looking for an employer that takes diversity seriously, have a look in the VERCIDA jobs database.

Unconscious bias

The nub of workplace discrimination is often unconscious bias. This is particularly true for people from an LGBT+ background. In a heteronormative workplace, bias can lead to not getting hired, interviewed or promoted. And if you're LGBT+ and BAME, a woman, or disabled, you can face multiple forms of discrimination.

Unconscious bias training for all employees – particularly those who hire and lead decision making – can help. It's important to ensure that employees become familiar with the characteristic forms of discrimination that affect marginalised groups.

The advantages – and limits – of networks

Inclusion best practice encourages the formation of diversity networks. There may be an LGBT+ network, a BAME network, and a disability network. It’s essential that these networks talk to each other to pinpoint areas of particular concern in the workplace. They can also club together to advocate policy changes.

Good policies for everyone

A properly inclusive workplace isn't necessarily achieved by policies that affect only one group. Good inclusion means policies that benefit all employees, but that address specific marginalisations at the same time. For example, flexible working hours benefit everyone with a family, but particularly women, who are often responsible for childcare. A culture of not interrupting in meetings helps ideas flow for everyone. But it also benefits those types of people that are often spoken over in meetings. These can include women, BAME people, and LGBT+ employees.

An inclusive workplace culture

The default workplace culture is too often heteronormative, disrespectful of caring commitments, and exclusive. LGBT+ employees might find family pictures on one's desk, or chats about holiday plans, uncomfortably heteronormative and pass them by. It's for the leadership of a workplace to instil a culture that leaves out exclusionary practices. This scrupulously ensures that all employees have the opportunity to get recognised for their ideas and rewarded for their work.

VERCIDA employers are committed to inclusion in every part of their work, and to making a welcoming place for everyone. Are you ready for a job that respects your diversity? Explore our jobs database here.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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