China launches inclusivity guide for employers of LGBT workers

Guide provides best practices and recommendations for an inclusive workplace
||Last Updated: 09/26/2013

A new employer guide to LGBT inclusivity in the workplace has launched in China.

Community Business launched the guide to showcase best practices and provide recommendations for creating an inclusive workplace for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.

Creating Inclusive Workplaces for LGBT Employees in China, sponsored by IBM and Goldman Sachs, will provide “regionally relevant” recommendations for making the workplace more supportive of diverse identities.

“Despite changes in social attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in recent years, sexual orientation and gender identity remain sensitive subjects in both society and, even more so, in the workplace in China,” the guide’s summary reads. “The majority of LGBT individuals in China have been leading dual lives in order to be accepted in a society that strives for social order, conformity and harmony.”

Key challenges LGBT individuals face in the China include a lack of understanding, stereotypes, isolation, discrimination, abuse and unequal access to social benefits, the guide reports.

Challenges specific to the workplace include a lack of corporate attention, lack of training and communication, lack of openly LGBT role models, concerns around privacy, limited resources, concern about ‘coming out,’ and a lack of metrics or benchmarks.

Key recommendations in the guide include implementing equal opportunity policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity, providing diversity training, establishing an LGBT employee support network, offering the benefits that cover same-sex partners and offering LGBT-specific support such as counselling or mentoring.

Other recommendations include communicating a corporate culture of support, tracking recruitment metrics and complaints and grievances involving LGBT employees and sharing best practices on workplace equality with other employers in China. 

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