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February, 2022

Making Your Office More Pride Inclusive

Opinion

Our Spaceworks CEO Lizzi discusses how businesses can make their offices more Pride inclusive, including practical design suggestions.

My commercial design career began in office design so as we underwent changes in our own office locations in Auckland + Wellington for Spaceworks Interior Architecture, I naturally looked at how our clients and design projects could embrace and include the LBGTTQIA+ community.

When working with companies on this we take a critical view to ensure that the inclusivity is genuine, that it’s not a public gesture, and that it runs through the entire business. It is all very well to have HR and recruitment processes that are inclusive but often the biggest part of an employee’s role is at the coal face with their colleagues.

Here are some ideas for making your office more inclusive:

🏳️‍🌈 Gender Neutral Language – don’t assume colleagues are in a heterosexual relationship; even if they have children.

🏳️‍🌈 Gender Neutral Facilities – bathrooms and other facilities should not be gender specific. Floor to ceiling cubicles help ensure privacy.

🏳️‍🌈 Education – educate the company on its attitudes towards inclusivity. A ‘pride’ sticker in a prominent place does not embed beliefs into the fabric of the business.

🏳️‍🌈 Pairing – many LBGTTQIA+ persons talk of ‘onlyness’ so pair them with others in the community or strong allies. Feeling part of something is important.

🏳️‍🌈 Diversity Groups – have a group where diversity and inclusivity is celebrated.

🏳️‍🌈 Wear the Pride Badge Proudly – actively promote that, as a business, you support pride in your team and community, and that your team are educated on all things rainbow.

🏳️‍🌈 Support Events Publicly – this is important visibility for rainbow employees. It shows a connection to the community.

🏳️‍🌈 Be Adaptable – change and move with the community as required to strengthen your business as an inclusive and desirable place to work.

In our office we wear the Rainbow Tick badge proudly. We have a large rainbow column and sign in the centre of the office.

Of our team, 16% identify as rainbow and having gone through the Tick process we now have a company full of strong allies.

It’s not hard to connect the dots between separateness and poor performance or inclusivity and productivity. It’s good for people and good for business to embrace inclusivity.

Lizzi Whaley
CEO