In my February newsletter (if you would like to subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter use this link) I shared a link to an online article titled “Top Five Ways CEOs Show Commitment to Diversity.” Link here for the article. This inspired me to write a short article on the top five ways CEOs (or any senior leader) can show support for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Diversity:
1. Actually say the words “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender” when you give any talks or reports on diversity. Often leaders say “women, blacks and the rest of the groups.” It is very important to verbalize all the official diversity constituencies.
2. Interact with any out LGBT executives or senior leaders. Hold them up as an example of integrity and authenticity. Out executives serve as role models to junior employees who may not have an issue with being out and want to see people like them in senior roles.
3. Personally attend the annual dinners or other activities of the LGBT community organizations that your company supports. Often companies delegate entire tables at dinners or events to the LGBT employee network group. It would mean a lot to these employees if you also showed up at an event and earnestly seek to learn about the work these groups are doing.
4. Insist that any corporate diversity metrics or goals also include specific LGBT targets and achievements.
5. Issue a CEO diversity support statement under your signature and make sure LGBT is included in it.
Bottom line is that diversity should be a critical part of any executive’s market and workplace strategy. Don’t just delegate it to the Human Resources team, but personally show leadership and involvement.