Though formal diversity and inclusion statements and policies are becoming more common, some organizations believe that their time and effort would be better spent elsewhere. More often, organizations put policies in place, but do not tailor them to the needs of their workforce, overlook important factors, or do not enforce the policies when they matter most. Still others might have full support from all levels of management, but people do not believe they truly have an open door policy.
Sometimes the receivers of harassment have their harassment belittled or labeled as “the way things are”, “just playing around”, or “not that big of a deal”. Even if their claims are taken seriously, the burden of proof is often on the person who is being harassed, forcing them to meticulously document painful or embarrassing experiences. Even if they complete all of these steps and the complaints are not dismissed, the consequences are often minor, the person faces ridicule for standing up for themselves, and/or they might suffer damages to their careers, have out of pocket expenses, or simply be treated in a different, but equally alienating, manner as a result. Writing a well phrased Diversity and Inclusion mission statement is a good first-step, but creating a fully welcoming environment takes many steps.
Again, the LGBTA Council does not propose or support simple, one-dimensional answers to complex problems. In terms of workplace cultures, the values espoused by an organization are an important starting place to anchor Diversity and Inclusion behaviors which may then support the full inclusion of LGBT organizational members.