LGBTQ+ Workplace

The degree to which LGBTQ+ people thrive in workplaces varies greatly, depending on a number of factors. And not surprisingly, many LGBTQ+ identifying individuals rank workplace protections above marriage rights in terms of importance.

Both formal and informal issues of discrimination and bias affect thousands of LGBTQ+ people in their workplaces each and every day. If left to fester, this disadvantage can have a substantial impact on mental health and productivity and can also lead to LGBTQ+ employees deciding to leave their jobs in search of more welcoming and accepting workplaces. And while in many workplaces meaningful progress is being made, there still exists a large number of people identifying as LGBTQ+ who continue to hide their identities at work.

As mediators who identify as LGBTQ+ and work within LGBTQ+ communities, we have insight into the many complex issues around employee/employer and co-worker conflicts involving LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. We also have a comprehensive grasp about the role that protections and policy play to support LGBTQ+ people in the workplace and some of the paths people and organisations can take towards positive cultural change.

We offer mediation and facilitation services that assist with conflict resolution to support and foster a positive experience for LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

Our expertise enables us to support organisations to maintain a workplace culture that embraces people who identify as LGBTQ + through:
  • Coming out in the workplace support and education
  • Identifying and removing workplace discrimination including equal access to employee benefits, parental leave, bathroom access and homophobic forms of discrimination and harassment from managers, colleagues and clients
  • Ensuring equal career opportunity and progression
  • Ensuring equal access to company benefits (which may incorporate inclusive parental leave and leave for medical procedures and programs for transitioning)
  • Educating about microaggressions in the workplace: examples can include derogatory remarks or off-colour jokes about LGBTQ+ people, the experience of being misgendered or referred to using pronouns not aligned with an employee’s gender identity.
  • Ensuring behaviours are not in direct contradiction to the company’s diversity and inclusion policy
  • Assisting to establish support networks and structures
  • Helping to provide a safe space/ workplace environment or culture for LGBTQ+ employees

Benefits of LGBTQ+ workplace mediation

Workplace mediation involves an independent and impartial mediator to guide parties in dispute through a structured process that allows them to identify and explore issues and conflict between them. Communication is managed by the mediator, who will support and guide the parties to develop options and solutions to reach an agreement together. This process provides both parties with the tools to help them shift conflict into a more positive communication. This sets the ground for ongoing future relationships between the parties that is more constructive and promotes inclusive and positive change in workplace culture.

Where conflict arises in an organisation involving LGBTQ+ related issues, mediation is an effective way to:

  • Allow parties to discuss the real issues between them privately
  • Ensure quick and effective response to issues, reducing impact on employees involved and on the broader organisational culture
  • Strengthen communication and understanding between parties
  • Improved collaboration through parties working together to resolve disputes
  • Promotes an organisation’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the workplace, and to positive organisational culture more broadly.
Find out more about the mediation process HERE

Benefits of mediation vs court

Face to Face Mediation + Online Mediation

At Fresh Start Mediation we offer face to face mediation or online mediation.

We assist parties to resolve disputes in an environment that is informal, neutral and fair, so that agreements reached are durable and long-lasting, offering parties peace of mind to move forward into the future.

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Online mediation offers a practical and accessible alternative to face to face mediation for parties who do not reside in the same location or do not wish to be in the same room for their mediation.

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Getting started with an intake session

The mediation process begins with an intake session, which occurs on a separate day prior to the mediation.

The pre-mediation intake session is a separate and confidential meeting between the mediator and each individual party. It can happen over the phone, online or as an in-person meeting. Each party must go through the intake session individually before we can proceed to the mediation.

The purpose of this first step is for the mediator to understand the circumstances of your situation and dispute – what brought you to mediation, what you hope to achieve from mediation and anything else we may need to know about you and your situation that could impact the mediation. For example, whether you feel comfortable being in the same room as the other party, or whether you prefer online mediation. The more we know about your situation, the better placed we are to facilitate the mediation successfully.

The intake session also gives us a chance to go through each phase of the mediation process with you, ensuring you understand exactly what to expect on the day.

The intake session also gives the mediator the chance to assess whether your dispute is appropriate for mediation. Instances where mediation may not be an alternative to the courts would be in the case where there is a serious safety concern via an emotional, physical or psychological threat to one of the parties, or if one party flatly refuses to participate.

As a starting point, we encourage you to give us a call and have an obligation-free chat about mediation and how it may be suited to your situation.

Start the mediation process by booking your intake meeting HERE

Give Fresh Start a call for an obligation-free discussion

At Fresh Start Mediation we understand you will probably have some questions. Fill in your details HERE and one of our team will give you a call, otherwise you are welcome to call us.

Fresh Start Mediation services the whole of Australia, offering face to face and online mediation options.