Inclusivity Starts with the Terminology

It’s Pride Month! All month long we will be discussing the role HR plays in ensuring safe, inclusive workplaces for the LGBTQIA+ community. In order to prepare for these conversations, it’s important to first understand the terminology, so we’ve defined all the terms you’ll need to know to participate in this month’s dialogue. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the definitions below serve as an excellent starting point.

Common terminology of the inclusion conversation

  1. LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, asexual, plus. The plus acts as the current placeholder for the additional sexual identities, etc. that exist. As we know, this acronym evolves over time
  2. Gender Identity: A person’s internal understanding of their gender alignment (whether they perceive themselves as male, female, or other)
  3. Cisgender: A person whose gender identity, behavior, etc. aligns with their assigned sex at birth.
  4. Ally: A supporter and/or advocate of the LGBTQIA+ community
  5. Sexual orientation: A person’s continuing pattern of attraction to another person, this may be to the same-sex, opposite-sex, or both sexes
  6. Transgender: A person’s whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth
  7. Nonbinary: A person whose gender identity does not conform to any one gender (they may identify with more than one gender or no gender at all, and so forth)
  8. Gender non-conforming: A person’s whose gender expression ‘fluctuates’ among the societal expectations of gender behavior

 We hope this list of terms will serve useful to you in our discussions this month. Stay tuned for enlightening conversations about workplace safety, company culture and inclusion, legal requirements of employers, and the benefits that best suit a diverse team.

If you’re looking to get started on building great culture in your company now, Eos HR can help! We make sure small business employers have the resources they need to lead a productive and inclusive workplace. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.