An official with the San Diego Workforce Partnership Wednesday offered support to the LGBTQ+ community, saying the group “remains dedicated to building a world where individuals can authentically embrace their identities at work without fear.”
“As an employee, you have a right to a safe and inclusive workplace through federal protections, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and through state law,” said Khaleda Atta, chief programs officer at the nonprofit.
History has shown that legislation is not enough to ensure truly safe and welcoming environments, said Atta.
“That’s why we encourage individuals to reach out to local organizations such as San Diego Pride and the San Diego LGBTQ Community Center for resources on how to advocate for inclusivity in the workplace,” Atta added.
Thousands of workers in the San Diego region identify as LGBTQ+.
However, according to a 2018 Human Rights Campaign report, 46% of such workers in the United States don’t feel comfortable coming out in the workplace.
The HRC recently declared a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ Americans, in connection with hundreds of what they call anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures and over 70 being signed into law.
Atta suggested that employers can take steps “to be a true ally year-round,” including respecting a person’s preferred pronouns, investing in gender-affirming health care and other supportive corporate policies.
“When people can’t be themselves at work, they can’t fully contribute to a company’s success,” Atta said.
The group offers tips on how businesses can support LGBTQ employees at https://workforce.org/news/how-to-uplift-your-lgbtqia-employees-year-round/.
City News Services contributed to this article.