LGBTQ+ Inclusion In The Workplace | Guide | Eden Scott | Eden Scott

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LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Workplace: A Guide

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Want to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ employees? There are several steps you can do to promote LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace.

The team at Eden Scott has prepared a helpful guide to LGBTQ+ inclusion for business leaders and HR Managers.

Here’s what to expect.

LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Workplace: A Guide

  • Addressing unconscious bias in the workplace
  • Introducing inclusive hiring practices
  • Creating a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ employees
  • The ABCs of LGBTQ+ terminology 
  • An interview with Colin Macfarlane of Stonewall Scotland

LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace: FREE guide download

Why is LGBTQ inclusion important in the workplace?

According to a survey by Stonewall, 35% of LGBTQ+ staff have hidden their identity at work due to fear of discrimination.

Many LGBTQ+ people who face workplace discrimination experience a mental health problem - 55% of trans people report experiencing depression in the past year due to discrimination.

Anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination has been shown to reduce productivity, resulting in financial loss for companies, In the US, for example, this form of discrimination results in a collective annual cost of $9.5billion.  

How can companies improve LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace?

Companies can take several steps to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion, including:  

  • Understanding conscious and unconscious bias
  • Creating inclusive workplace policies
  • Developing more inclusive hiring practices
  • Learning common LGBTQ+ terminology

To find out more about improving LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, download the guide.

LGBTQ+ terminology

The ABCs of LGBTQ+ terminology

Here’s a quick guide to commonly used LGBTQ+ terminology that you might find helpful. It’s worth refreshing your knowledge of these terms by checking through the list from time to time. 


Language is ever-evolving, so it's possible that some of the terms below will change - it's worth checking out organisations like Equality Network and Stonewall for the most up-to-date terminology.



An acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (or Questioning) and other forms of sexual orientation and gender identity, including intersex, asexual and pansexual. Other similar acronyms are frequently used, including LGBT, LGBT+ and LGBTQIA.



The categorisation of male or female, based on biological markers such as genitalia and chromosomes, that someone is assigned at birth.



The characteristics associated with women, men, girls and boys (usually considered to be shaped by social and cultural conventions).


Terms related to gender

Gender identity

The gender that a person identifies with, regardless of their sex assigned at birth.


Gender expression

How a person communicates their gender. For example, clothing, makeup, hairstyles, behaviours, etc.



A person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth.



A person whose gender identity isn’t exclusively ‘man’ or ‘woman’ (or ‘boy’ or ‘girl’).



A person whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.


Terms related to sexual orientation

Sexual orientation 

A person’s romantic and/or sexual attraction to others.



A person who doesn’t feel sexual attraction to a person of any gender.



A person who is attracted to both men and women.


Gay (Homosexual)

A person who is attracted to people of the same sex or gender. This term often refers to men who are attracted to other men, but can also refer to women who are attracted to other women.



A woman who is attracted to other women.



A person whose attraction to others is not linked to their sex or gender.


Straight (Heterosexual)

A person who is attracted to a person of the opposite sex or gender.



A general term to describe people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Note: The word ‘queer’ to describe people in the LGBTQ+ community originated as a derogatory term. Because of its previous usage, some people still consider the term 'queer' offensive.


What if I’m not sure which term to use?

Don’t panic! You can access helpful online resources from organisations like Equality Network and Stonewall.


It’s not always appropriate to ask LGBTQ+ colleagues with questions about inclusive terminology. Of course, depending on your relationship, you can judge for yourself whether it’s appropriate to ask for guidance.

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