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So, what can I do as an HR professional?

This article is part of the Reflecting on Pride Month, HRNZ News Special Edition, written by  Amy Clarke (she/her) – HRNZ’s Manager, Professional Standards and Development. If you have a story to share or feedback we’d love to hear from you. Please email [email protected].

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It’s important to acknowledge that there is a lot to both learn and take in when we think about how best to support the rainbow community in our workplaces, but there are a number of very practical and extremely valuable things that HR people can make positive change on now. Some of these are low-hanging fruit, and some are items that will help embed more enduring change.

Check out the practical list below….

  • Understand where you’re at in your journey with supporting rainbow people in your workplace, develop a baseline and identify specific priorities. Be clear on your why and who you are doing this work for.
  • Collect data well - acknowledge that different people will want to share personal information differently. Adjust your policies appropriately
  • Ask questions of your tech partners to make sure you can capture data on all your people. If the technology is limited, push for change. “We only have the ability to report on two genders” shouldn’t be good enough anymore – and it’s not good data collection practice – Stats NZ guidelines demonstrate this.
  • Listen to your rainbow staff – and make sure you’re reaching all of them. As a community, often we’re aligned and sometimes we’re not. It’s important to remember that different people have different needs in the community, and we need to make sure we create space for those voices to be heard.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor anti-discrimination workplace policies through community consultation which are inclusive of all people with a diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics
  • Support staff, customers, and stakeholders to use the bathroom and uniform of their choice in the workplace
  • Introduce pronouns in email signatures and do the work to understand why this is important
  • Provide ongoing workplace training related to diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.
  • Explore adopting specific policies that protect and support staff who transition, including educating leaders and managers
  • Look at pathways for rainbow staff to excel in your workplace and look at blockers too. Challenge the ‘best person for the job’ rhetoric and look at why rainbow folk might not be at the right level to move up into a leadership role