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Indy Pride works to make community and employers more inclusive

Hiring Hoosiers — Removing Barriers
Posted: 8:55 AM, Nov 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-14 08:58:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Part of RTV6's Hiring Hoosiers initiative is helping people overcome workplace barriers.

Organizers with Indy Pride think it's essential for large employers in the area to understand how to make people in the LGBTQ community feel comfortable to be themselves at work.

No matter what your job is, we all spend a good portion of our week at work, and, of course, we want to be comfortable while we are there, and that's the goal of Indy Pride's Workplace Workshop.

"How can we be more diverse and inclusive and actually show that?"

That's a question Jeff Rowan with Delta Faucet asked as they joined Indy Pride for their workplace workshop.

"We want to go to work. We want to do a good job, and we want to come home and be ourselves, and that can be difficult and challenging if we are facing discrimination or harassment at work for being part of our community," Chris Handberg, executive director at Indy Pride, said.

Handberg says the workplace workshops have been going on for a year and has continued to grow — with more than 100 employers on their mailing list now.

MORE | Hiring Hoosiers: Indy Pride Career Fair helps find inclusive employers in Central Indiana |

"They all had a real desire to understand and learn from each other and develop a peer group around employers about engaging with the LGBTQ+ community," Handberg said.

According to Handberg, Indy Pride goes over several things with employers. Such as, what is appropriate to ask someone in an interview, how to leave the door open, so people know they are safe for the disclosure and appropriate language to use.

"Using appropriate language in the email, making sure to affirm someones' pronouns and allow them to be themselves without fearing harassment from their coworkers," Handberg said.

Rowan says they have received positive feedback from their employees at Delta.

"We had a new employee start earlier this year who was pretty excited that we are a sponsor for the Indy Pride Parade," Rowan said. "It just shows why we participate in these types of things because it means a lot to employees, as well as the community."

Rowan advises that other local companies get involved with Indy Pride's workshop.

"Get involved. We're all in it together, and we can all learn a lot," Rowan said. "It's about idea-sharing. It's about learning to better ourselves as companies, as well as learn and improve."