In the modern workplace, introducing topics like LGBTQIA+, gender, race, and accessibility (not to mention advocating for and building diversity and inclusion programs) is often still a challenge. That’s why we created the Inclusion at Work collection. This collection of resources was built by, with, and for LGBTQIA+ professionals to help companies avoid reinventing the wheel or repeating mistakes. It highlights thoughtful initiatives that make everyone feel more included and safe at work.
Pitch focused on the LGBTQIA+ community as a way to start conversations on underrepresented identities during Pride Month. Here, we're presenting the collection under three guiding principles:
- Get used to (re)learning
- Build processes with diversity in mind
- Commit to inclusion at work
Use these initiatives as a springboard, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your startup’s new diversity and inclusion training program or are at a global company and just want to help colleagues get up to speed. We're also sharing a variety of presentation templates that you can use to create your own resources on these topics — and help keep the conversation going.
Get used to (re)learning
The best teams are made up of diverse talent. To effectively work together, team members need to be aware of one another’s unique needs and perspectives. Need a quick explainer on disability, gender, or neurodiversity? Want to understand a particular letter in the LGBTQIA+ acronym? Browse and share the decks below to get everyone on the same page.
What does LGBTQIA+ stand for? What’s the right acronym, and why? This simple deck by Ellen Wagner, the founder of cross cultural bridges, is an easy way to get started. Its 14 slides can help you navigate what different terms might (or might not) mean for the people who use them.
Now that you have your definitions down, it’s time to broaden the discussion. Sandra Camacho’s deck untangles sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Focusing on one concept per slide, it answers questions people may have about terms like gender identity or intersectionality. Skip the hours of research, and use this deck to elevate the conversation level from the get-go.
Highlight your key ideas and demonstrate your process with this sophisticated slide deck.
Once you’ve gotten a hang of the concepts, why not take a quick quiz? See if you can identify all the flags in this deck prepared by Mimi and Coco, and then explain the nuances to others.
Listen to underrepresented individuals
While definitions help us understand people, they don't define them. Often, it’s best to simply pass the mic. That’s why we’ve included the voices of LGBTQIA+ individuals. Play through the slide decks below to hear what queer professionals have to say about their experiences — and what would make their lives and work easier.
Katrina Strohl’s presentation on intersectional identities explains how people’s various identities affect their individual experiences. Our identities are tied up with things like gender, race, and disability — but they also include factors we don’t often consider, such as marital status and religion.
Ghonche Tavoosi’s recorded presentation shows how individual experiences are actually a problem at scale. As a product manager, Ghonche gives tips on how tech companies can build more inclusive product features that help businesses reach a wider user base.
Build processes with diversity in mind
By factoring in the perspectives and experiences of people with different backgrounds, companies can rethink how they value talent, work together, and tackle product development. Inclusion isn’t a checklist — it’s a continuously evolving approach to collaboration. This requires questioning default ways of working that may exclude people outside an ideal norm.
It might sound obvious, but hiring is a good place to start. By working to reduce unconscious biases at a foundational level, companies can attract and retain people who think or act in ways they aren’t familiar with. We created this deck to outline the principles that guide our approach to screening. Discover how to identify whether candidates truly have the qualities you’re looking for — or whether your unconscious biases are pulling the strings.
An element of play can help people digest more sensitive topics. The 3D illustrations in this template will lend your next presentation a sense of “we’re in this together” comradery.
Want more inspiration on how to create inclusive products? Check out this deck on inclusive product management (in German) by Karla Schönicke, the founder of Women CTO Dinner, and this deck on colorblind accessibility by Colorblind Manifesto.
Commit to inclusion at work
We all know that actions speak louder than words. Then again, making a suggestion is easy — building a habit is a whole different ball game. Taking individual inclusivity initiatives, scaling them throughout a company, and holding people accountable can be challenging. It involves identifying discrimination, speaking up, and separating performative allyship from true solidarity. But committing to inclusion at work isn’t complicated.
Practicing allyship at the individual level
Looking for ways to support queer or other underrepresented communities? Cathrine Hansen, who started by volunteering at Shanghai Pride, shares how she stumbled from one allyship opportunity to the next. For some quick, actionable advice, check out slides 15 to 18.
In this deck, Katharina and Hichem — colleagues at an NGO supporting migrant communities — discuss how inclusion is a collective action. Creating an inclusive work environment involves changes on the organizational level, but it starts with cultivating self-awareness and empathy as an individual.
Sometimes the simplest decks deliver the most impact. Ensure you’re getting your point across with this team meeting template.
Another way to make space for people is to see them as they want to be seen. It’s important to respect and use people’s preferred pronouns — whether it’s he/him, he/they, or neopronouns. Check out the deck that our colleague Rey (they/them) put together to learn more.
Use colorful visuals to convey your message with this free template.
Helping underrepresented professionals succeed
It’s not enough to talk about marginalized identities at a meeting — people from different backgrounds need to be in the meeting and actively involved in shaping decisions. And for this to happen, individuals who are firsts or onlys in a company need support.
For example, marginalized individuals shouldn’t always be expected to represent their community. In fact, underrepresented people need to set boundaries to protect their peace. In those moments, colleagues with more power and privilege can step up and flex their allyship muscle to nurture a thriving and resilient team culture.
Young professionals require support and mentorship to succeed. Céline Dedaj prepared a slide deck to help LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented professionals create a supportive workplace network — but anyone in leadership can use it as a blueprint to build a mentorship or sponsorship program for junior hires.
Have a bold vision? Create your own slide deck with this cyberpunk-themed template.
Also, watch out for tokenization and pinkwashing. Asking someone to take on a temporary leadership role or create a diversity and inclusion statement for Pride Month is an empty gesture. Simply copying public inclusion checklists without reflecting on the topics may also do more harm than good. Instead, individuals committed to inclusion can focus on mindset shifts that lead to concrete actions in everything from product design to company policies.
Formalizing an inclusive culture
If you’ve already created an environment where different types of colleagues feel safe and valued at work, it’s time to formalize your culture. Have a look at how other companies have done this.
A company’s DNA is shaped by its founders and leadership team. InsightPact’s culture deck shows how they put people’s needs first at work through things like daily check-ins, weekly meetings with time for reflection, and feminist economics.
And if you work in a multinational company like Accenture and need encouragement, draw inspiration from this inclusive language initiative that a junior hire set in motion. In their words, “Anything that’s cute enough can get adopted!”
Taking solid steps toward inclusion
In today’s world, there’s a clear business case for diversity and inclusion. The hesitancy hurdle remains because companies and individuals who care want to do things right. Inclusion isn’t a status — it’s a process of continuous learning. By exploring the topics that LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented professionals have highlighted as important, sharing their decks, and starting initiatives in your company, you can take concrete steps toward building a more inclusive culture.