Inclusion has always played an important part in our culture and organization as a whole. While we’re proud of the significant progress we’ve made around LGBTQ+ inclusion, we remain committed to doing even more to recognize those who often go unheard, overlooked or underserved. This is why we brought a focus on bi inclusion to the forefront: to raise awareness, encourage allyship and improve experiences for our bi colleagues and clients alike.
Here are some of the steps we’ve taken as part of our journey so far:
Ensured our policies are bi-inclusive - for example, including explicit examples of biphobic behaviour in our equality, non-discrimination & non-harassment policy to demonstrate what we deem as unacceptable behaviour.
Having bi representatives involved in shaping our DEI strategy - including visible bi ambassadors in both our LGBTQ+ network and as part of our DEI council (who shape, inform and validate our DEI efforts) ensures our work is high impact and bi-inclusive.
Implemented training that includes examples of biphobia and bierasure - our DEI induction for new hires and mandatory unconscious bias e-learning both contain examples to increase understanding and awareness.
Created and launched a bi allyship resource - outlining why biphobia and bierasure are so damaging and why allyship is important, along with practical tips and how to access support.
Learning about bi experiences through the arts - titles including TV show ‘Heartstopper’ and the book ‘We Can Do Better Than This: 35 Voices on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights’ have featured in our book and movie club, improving awareness and understanding on bi identities and experiences. We also have copies of ‘Bisexuality In Britain’ in our office libraries.
Sharing profiles of bi activists, influencers and changemakers - to improve visibility of bi role models, enabling colleagues to diversify their social media feeds and hear more from bi voices.
Sharing stories - through talks, profiles or written pieces, we celebrate our bi colleagues (including those who are out, those who aren’t and those who may be questioning), providing safe spaces for discussion and sharing experiences.
Engaging leadership to support and advocate for bi inclusion - whether it’s sending strong messages of support or being visible at events, we continue to support our leaders in becoming bi allies.
Marking key events for the bi community - whether this is during Pride, for Bi Visibility Day or as part of our efforts for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia, we ensure that bi inclusion is explicitly included.
Ensuring bi representation across all our DEI work - as part of our commitment to be intentionally intersectional, we aim to include bi representation across all celebrations, from Black History Month to International Women's Day and Disability History Month.
We have received some encouraging feedback. In our most recent Stonewall employee survey:
94% of bi respondents feel they are able to be themselves at work
95% of gay, lesbian and hetrosexual respondents said they understood how to be an ally to bi colleagues
94% of bi respondents said they would feel confident approaching my employer's LGBT or LGBTQ+ employee network group for confidential support or advice
But there is still so much more to do and that’s why bi inclusion continues to be a focus for us at Thoughtworks.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.