Workshop on creating inclusive workplaces – Oct. 18

Sandra Charles

On Thursday, Oct. 18, from 9-11 a.m., the Fermilab Diversity and Inclusion Office will host a workshop on following equitable and respectful practices at the laboratory. The workshop takes place in the Hornet’s Next, WH8XO. No RSVP is required to attend, but feel free to secure a seat by emailing Mario Lucero, diversity and inclusion specialist, at

Jeannie Gainsburg and Noah Wagoner of the LGBTQ Academy at the Out Alliance will facilitate the workshop, where we’ll discuss the current issues and concerns for LGBTQ+ employees and clients, the many identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, and best practice tips for creating an environment that feels safe and welcoming for everyone.

Creating safe and inclusive workplaces for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, improves the well-being and satisfaction of employees. Creating LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces has been shown to increase productivity, workplace satisfaction and employee retention.

While progress is slowly being made to create more welcoming and inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees, there is still much to be done.

  • Forty-six percent of LGBTQ+ employees hide who they are at work. (2018 Human Rights Campaign’s A Workplace Divided)
  • Twenty percent of LGBTQ+ employees report looking for another job specifically because their workplace environment isn’t accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals. (2014 Human Rights Campaign’s The Cost of the Closet)
  • Fifteen percent of transgender employees report being verbally harassed, physically attacked or sexually assaulted at work within the last year because of their gender identity or expression. (2015 National Center for Transgender Equality’s US Transgender Survey Report)
  • Fifty percent of non-LGBTQ+ workers don’t think that there are any LGBTQ+ people at their workplace. (2018 Human Rights Campaign’s A Workplace Divided)

With equitable and respectful policies and practices, LGBTQ+ people will feel more comfortable requesting services, and LGBTQ+ employees will be able to bring their authentic selves to work, ensuring that more time and energy is spent on doing their jobs and creating healthy relationships with coworkers.

Bring your questions and your thoughts to the workshop. All are welcome in this judgment-free and safe space.

Sandra Charles is the Fermilab talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion manager.