July 12th, 2017 | Devon Allen, Sterling Talent Solutions

A Look Back at PRIDE Month: Diversity in the Workplace

People, culture and integrity are almost always at the very epicenter of Human Resources. At Sterling, our own core values center on these concepts. There’s no denying that these values, rooted in valuing people, inclusion and collaboration, are strong justification for empowering diversity in the workplace. Creativity, teamwork and effectiveness are driven by our ability to each think differently, working to merge our many ideas, personal strengths and experiences to optimize any given project. In my time at Sterling, I’ve found this to be a priceless attribute of the work we do.

Sterling Celebrates LGBTQ+ PRIDE Month

June is PRIDE month; a time in which we celebrate the members of the LGBTQ+ community. Though just one aspect of the larger picture of diversity, June affords us the opportunity to come together and show our support for multiplicity and LGBTQ+ individuals. In addition to parades and festivals worldwide, many companies express their support for LGBTQ+ individuals through the universal symbol of PRIDE; the rainbow. In fact, during the month of June, Sterling’s own social media profiles showcased a rainbow logo and PRIDE messaging in support of our LGBTQ+ employees and the community at large. This may seem like a small gesture to some, but you cannot minimize the impact of acceptance.

Workplace Adversity

In a study published in May of 2017, around 43% of LGBTQ+ employees have cited workplace discrimination based on their sexual preferences, despite the statistic that a quarter of them were not open about their orientation at work. In the same study, 67% of LGBTQ+ individuals did not report the discrimination to Human Resources. Part of why diversity in the workplace is so important extends far behind the confines of the office. Adversity comes in many forms and the feeling of being unwelcome can be hard to overcome and impact our ability to remain productive and efficient in the workplace.

If you have an LGBTQ+ employee who is facing an affliction in their personal lives as well as in the workplace, the line between the two can blur, creating resistance to collaboration and successful interoffice working relationships. I am an LGBTQ+ person. I came out, openly identifying as such when I was fifteen years old and have been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by supportive friends, family and colleagues. However, I have also experienced and witnessed intolerance.

Diverse and Creative Workplaces

I am in the Marketing Department here at Sterling, a group that shines brightly with diversity, creativity and individuality. Our differences, the ways we think and approach not just our job, but our lives, are some of the strongest binding attributes in our daily work. I am lucky to work for such a supportive company and be a part of such a diverse team. This level of inclusion at Sterling drives stronger relationships with each other, better creativity from brainstorming and better results from strong, collaborative execution.

As of 2015, 88% of Fortune 500 companies have reported non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation. This year, of the companies that advocate these internal policies, 96% have reported higher levels of productivity and morale as a result of their workplace policies. And what’s more? These policies have minimal costs associated to create and implement. 

Diversity is about not only acceptance and support but in an industry like ours, celebrating people is the very foundation of our integrity, values and success. So I thank you for taking the month of June to celebrate the uniqueness and diversity of the LGBTQ+ and other communities that bring our various experiences, ideas and approaches to the table, embodying the  global sense of ‘we’.

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