5 Ways to Create a Gender-inclusive Workplace
July 20, 2022 | 281 Views
This article first appeared in Hotel Management magazine, July 2022.
Hospitality companies will often go to great lengths to ensure that guests feel welcome, appreciated, and comfortable in their hotels, but can they say the same about all their employees, especially the growing number of workers who are gender-nonconforming and do not label themselves as either male or female? With recent surveys showing over 1 million adults in the US, as well as 26% of LGBTQ youth, identifying as nonbinary individuals, it’s an important section of both the current and future workforce that this industry should be actively courting.
If you would like to create a more inclusive workplace for gender-diverse individuals, here are 5 suggestions to get started:
- Offer training – Knowledge is always the key to acceptance, so provide training to your teams about gender identities and expressions. If you don’t have this training already available, check to see if your city or state government has an Office of Diversity or Inclusion that could provide materials for the foundation of this effort.
- Share your pronouns – Encourage the sharing of pronouns before a meeting, on nametags, or in email signatures. It’s a simple and effective way to demonstrate acceptance at your property, and for everyone to let their co-workers know how they would like to be addressed.
- Remove gender-based language – Gendered phrases, questions, and restrictions in job applications, employee handbooks, benefits paperwork, and dress codes are generally not necessary (and in some places illegal) and eliminating them will provide a more welcoming experience for all candidates and new hires.
- Change to gender-neutral restrooms – If you have single-use restrooms in your hotel’s staff areas, consider changing them from one men’s room and one ladies’ room to two gender-neutral rooms so anyone of any gender can use either bathroom at any time.
- Create an inclusion committee – Invite your current gender-diverse staff members to participate in ongoing discussions and learn from their perspective about creating and promoting a company inclusivity statement, strengthening harassment prevention policies, improving access to job opportunities, and any other suggestions that they can offer which will contribute to a safer, more equitable, and more accepting workplace.
As the gender-diverse community continues to expand across the county, efforts that you take to educate your workforce, adapt hotel guidelines and policies, and foster inclusivity will go a long way to help set your company apart from your competition and demonstrate that hospitality can be for everyone.