LGBTQ+ Employee Inclusion & Retention: Professional Development Initiatives

Professional development initiatives aimed at LGBTQ+ employees encourage workers to develop their professional careers within that same business and can be a critical tool for retaining talented employees. Targeted and thoughtful employee efficacy and development programs can help LGBTQ+ employees with “identity management” — improving efficacy while fully acknowledging their LGBTQ+ status. These programs can be especially useful for businesses that have no visible senior-level LGBTQ+ employees or executives.

LGBTQ+ Employee Retention: Professional Development Initiatives

  • Inclusive Leaders Group provides guidance on programs that may take the form of LGBTQ+ mentorship programs that pair a senior employee with a more junior employee. The mentor and mentee may attend events and conferences or simply have regular meetings to talk about opportunities and obstacles in the workplace.
  • Employee resource groups (ERG) can facilitate mentorship programs, and also are helpful in providing a network from which LGBTQ+ employees of all levels can quickly make professional acquaintances and, in some cases, take on leadership positions within the ERG itself. Similarly, LGBTQ+ conferences and professional associations help employees share experiences and best practices among their peers in their respective industries or practice areas.
  • Programs may also take the form of a development curriculum for employees identified as “high-potential” and can be a unique opportunity to develop more seasoned or senior-level employees.

Inclusive Leaders Group leverages LGBTQ+ inclusion resources from organizations such as The Human Rights Campaign, Out & Equal, and GLAAD.

Below is a list of professional development initiatives that include a focus on LGBTQ+ employees: