How to really provide support LGBTQ+ team in your organization

Equity and inclusion don’t just happen based on good intentions.

Good intentions can even cause more harm than good if the impact of your actions isn’t fully considered. Impact > Intention!

This reality is true for LGBTQ+ folks who are often told they are welcomed in their organizations but end up not being supported in meaningful ways.

Those of us in leadership roles have an excellent opportunity to challenge the status quo and create supportive workplaces that consider the needs of LBGTQ+ folks – every day.

Let’s explore a few ways you can support LGBTQ+ team members in meaningful, impactful ways. I invite you to contact me with any additions (and edits!) because I am still learning, too.


Provide opportunities for self-development through education opportunities and training for allies.

It’s not the responsibility of LGBTQ+ employees to educate staff. By providing opportunities for learning and development (aka investing in advocacy courses or workshops), you can give folks the resources they need to be active allies.


Focus on active allyship – internally and externally!

Allyship is a verb, not a noun. Being an ally means taking action to support our LGBTQ+ peers. This can manifest in internal language, representation, and policies. It’s also important to consider how your organization represents itself publicly and how your LGBTQ+ employees are represented in your external messaging and outreach.


Create spaces that allow for empathy-building and vulnerability.

True allyship is an ongoing process, not a box you can check off your to-do list. When we create spaces (often in the form of Employee Resource Groups or ERGs) where folks can share their experiences openly and gain a more holistic understanding of other people’s experiences, your team will connect on a human level and have an appropriate understanding of how to support each other as humans.

Reminder: This space doesn’t just happen; you must create it through thoughtful leadership and implementing initiatives and policies supporting this goal. It also takes care and consideration to ensure these spaces are safe and serve the needs of your team in meaningful ways. This is a gentle reminder that if we are not thoughtful in our implementation, these groups can end up causing more harm. Impact > Intention!


Rethink your hiring and promotion practices.

Did you know that diverse teams are more likely to outperform competitors? And yet, diverse teams don’t just happen – it takes effort to dismantle many of the systemic barriers that hold LGBTQ+ folks (and other historically marginalized people) from meaningful employment and career growth. It’s critical to build a strategy for your hiring and promotion process that eliminates these barriers.


Build a supportive and inclusive culture that creates a safe working environment for everyone.

If you are on board to create an inclusive culture but unsure how to begin, the bullet points we just went over are a great place to start! By investing in learning opportunities for your staff, prioritizing active allyship, creating space for empathy-building and connection, and considering your hiring and promotion policies, you’ll be well on your way to creating a culture that uplifts and supports a more inclusive talent pipeline team of talent – all the way to the C-suite!

Ready to implement strategies that support inclusion and equity on your team but need some support? Learn how our Peer Mentoring Circles and Leadership Cohorts can support your ERG and DEIJ efforts. We’re all in this together, and the EDGE Leadership team is ready to support you and your team!