Navigation mobile icon
Mobile navigation close window icon
Capabilities icon
what we do
Expand section icon
additional services to ask about:
talent strategy & development
employee engagement & retention
total rewards
change strategy & enablement

How the LGBTQ+ Movement is Dismantling the Gender Binary System

Uniqueness of identification has grown and blossomed into a spectrum of diversity, challenging the way companies think about DEIB.

Dismantling the gender binary system is a cornerstone of the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement. While the building blocks may have been a binary struggle between gay and straight, the uniqueness of identification that grew and blossomed into a spectrum of diversity are clearly non-binary. 

What brought us to this level of enlightenment? Disrupting the system, radical inclusion, and fierce pride. Spectrum thinking has garnered equal rights in the arenas of gay marriage, employment protections, trans rights, and more.

How can companies shift their mindsets to advance their diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging(DEIB) missions? Can implementing non-discriminatory policies improve employees’ well-being? What does it take to turn up the volume on continuum thinking and multilevel approaches to problem-solving?

The evolution of LGBTQ+ rights advocacy

Radical Inclusion: The early days of organization focused on gay rights, particularly male, but soon lesbian, bisexual, and trans rights became inherent elements of the LGBT label. This non-binary way of thinking about gender identity rejects the traditional constructs of sexual identity--homosexual or heterosexual--as too limiting for the diverse spectrum of gender identities. The idea of radical inclusion also extended to the advancement of race, religion, and disability rights. This multi-tiered, inclusive definition of diversity propelled the movement and influenced generations to come.

Compelling Examples of Pride: The pride flag, worldwide festivals, and equal rights advocacy are emblematic of the pride movement. Gay pride opposes shame and stigma through the promotion of self-affirmation and equality through visibility. Queer icons in the fields ofSTEM, literature, and the arts elevate the profile of LGBTQ+ and strengthens the influence of the movement.

Intense Belonging: The concept of the non-traditional family gained traction as many LGBTQ+ people found themselves rejected by their own relatives. Human connection has led to non-traditional extended gay families with traditional labels like Uncle, Auntie, and drag mothers and daughters are just a few examples of cultivated relationships. This bonding strengthens self-affirmation and inclusion and promotes equity and diversity, as queer people are free to express themselves around their chosen family: “Let your freak flags fly!” 

Inequity Interruption:  Equal rights advocacy for the LGBTQ+ has taken the forms of political protest, AIDS/HIV activism, and hate crime policy sponsorship. “Disrupt the culture!” has been a popular cry for advancing queer rights. This way of thinking has driven fundamental change in the areas of marriage, trans rights, adoption rights, housing and jobs protections, and many more. Queer policy-makers are taking prominent roles in politics, business, and the arts, advancing the movement through action and visibility: “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.”

How can these ideas help you reorder your corporate culture?

“Let your DEIB flag fly!”: Cultivate and promote DEIB initiatives through “inclusion councils” and human resource leadership. An inclusion council--a representative body of employees that advance DEIB missions through meaningful discussions and activities using non-binary thinking--can lead a company through systemic changes that promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

An inclusion council might take a discussion about gender-neutral bathrooms and elevate the conversation to a exploration of how the company can create the same kind of belonging in the public office space.

How might an inclusion council change the way your company works? Where can non-binary thinking raise DEIB awareness in the advancement of your company’s mission?

Radical Inclusion: Adopt non-binary policies that reject gender stereotypes, such as gender-neutral facilities and dress codes. Non-binary policies can be developed through  your human resources department or an inclusion council to promote belonging and equity.

Gender-neutral dress codes can address the binary concepts of male and female working attire. Adopting a “professional attire” policy instead of policies for men’s and women’s attire can reduce the confusion and dysphoria that non-binary people may experience when forced to make a binary decision.

Language that eliminates binary rigidity creates an open atmosphere and promotes DEIB. Consider adopting job application and internal processes that omit titles like Mr. or Ms., or include the option of Mx. for people who identify as non-binary. Remove gender options for online forms and adopt gender-neutral pronouns in meetings and emails. 

Intense Belonging: Nurture an environment of emotional well-being, establishing social connections. SOGIE--acronym that stands for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression--is used in a similar way to the umbrella acronym LGBTQ+, but doesn’t limit expression as queer. This multi-level, non-binary approach welcomes those who express themselves in a way that LGBTQ+ does not.

Binary thinking defines gender as that which is listed on a birth certificate. Non-binary, SOGIE thinking embraces the spectrum of diversity and eliminates the barriers of tunnel vision. How could your company benefit from adopting SOGIE language? 

Inequity Interruption: If nothing changes, nothing changes. Disrupt the culture. If people aren’t listening, turn up the volume on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging through a multi-level, non-binary, continuum way of thinking. Turn up the volume because, in the words of queer activist Larry Kramer, “Silence equals death.”

Lift up your employees through a strong emphasis on DEIB, and give them a voice.

more insights


Subscribe to our newsletter for regular insight and news

Our Latest White Paper!
Human Led, AI Assisted
Uniting Artificial and Human Intelligence to Combat Bias in Hiring
Download Today

more insight

Building the Foundations of a Startup Team Culture

An in-depth tutorial and set of worksheets to help startup leaders establish a positive culture from day one is now available.

How to Execute an Effective Total Rewards Program In 3 Simple Steps

Current workforce realities such as competing job opportunities and The Great Resignation make Total Rewards programs vital for attracting and retaining talent. Here’s how companies can do it right.

As Right-to-Disconnect Laws Hit Europe, Will U.S. Follow Suit?

Over the last five years, there’s been an increasing focus on laws centered around digital protections and worker’s rights, specifically the “right to disconnect.”

Many Companies Are Saving Incredible Amounts of Cash During the Pandemic. Where Is It Going?

By downsizing or giving up office space altogether, companies can—and should—redirect money to their employees in meaningful ways. Here's how.

AI & Recruiting: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence While Avoiding Bias

As employers contend with the Great Resignation, the use of artificial intelligence for talent acquisition is more important than ever.

Fear Drives More People at Work Than You Think. Let's Change That.

No matter how scary the prospect, striving to achieve your career goals will always yield better results than staying stuck and afraid.

Lack of Digital Adoption Is Becoming More Common in the Workforce, and That's Problematic

When employees fail to understand or properly utilize important tech tools in the workplace, it can have far-reaching implications and may even impact an organization’s bottom line.

AI Recruiting Tools May Be the Future, But Proceed With Caution

AI recruitment tools--while incredibly useful--can also introduce bias. What can companies do to ensure they increase efficiency without harming equity?

How Companies Can Leverage AI Recruiting to Increase Representation in Hiring

A range of approaches to designing and utilizing AI can actually help diversity hiring.

I Use This One Tool to Get 125% More Done

We're trending towards longer and longer work days--but by embracing a decision-making ideology and a task management tool, we don't have to.

New Hires Weigh In: How Do You Survive The Working World?

Navigating a new job is hard--and managing its ups and downs as a new hire during a pandemic is arguably even harder.

Stress Is Rewiring Our Brains. Can Training Like Navy SEALs Help Combat It?

While few employees are running miles in combat boots, mentally training like the elite military unit may help us reclaim our brains from stress.

Working From Home Has Changed Your Brain and Body. Here’s How.

The virtual workspace isn’t going away. Here’s how WFH is affecting us — and how these changes could reshape the workforce as we know it.

The Life of an HR Executive: a Roundtable Discussion

Human Resources executives are central to the success of an organization, setting the tone for how employees can contribute and thrive. Here, a few industry leaders share their insights.

The Ahmaud Arbery Trial's Social Justice Ramifications Affect Companies and Their Employees. Here's How.

Processing emotionally charged events can impact people in ways that are difficult to manage. What can be done to support them?

Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping the Workforce in Ways You've Never Imagined

From cobots that collaborate with humans to HoloLens, a wearable holographic computer, AI is no longer science fiction.

Yes, Your Nostalgia Is Valid. That Doesn't Mean It Belongs At Work.

As old paradigms fall by the wayside, how we shape corporate culture and do business altogether is transforming at breakneck speeds.

How the LGBTQ+ Movement is Dismantling the Gender Binary System

Uniqueness of identification has grown and blossomed into a spectrum of diversity, challenging the way companies think about DEIB.

The Big Quit: How Burnout Is Reshaping the Workforce

A number of complex forces are steering people away from the workforce, but arguably the most common one is burnout.

Is the 5-Hour Workday the Answer to All Our Problems?

Of all the theories that aim to engender better work-life balance, the five-hour workday is one of the most compelling.

Why You're Probably Using the Word "Strategy" Incorrectly

Just because you say you're operating strategically doesn't mean your plan is strategic.

No, You Can’t Always Just “Be Yourself” At Work. Here’s Why. 

Yes, “be yourself” is definitely sound advice--and these days, employers are known to tell their employees the same thing. But there are limits.

Is Fear a Barrier to Inclusion & Belonging? Why Companies Balk at Action

DEIB programs are surging across the American workplace. Why are some employers still not taking action?

Speed vs. Quality: The Timeless Dilemma

It's not always easy to know when to prioritize speed vs. quality in business. There may be more than one right answer.

Intent vs. Impact: The Communication Disconnect

Your words often don't have the impact you intend them to--which can be problematic, especially in the workplace.

Feedback Doesn't Have to be Scary

Giving and receiving valuable feedback isn't always an easy task. Here are some insights to help you along the way.

Does Unlimited PTO Work?

Unlimited PTO sounds like a dream come true. Is it here to stay, or just the flavor of the week?

Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace: A Webinar

Join us for a dynamic discussion with neurodiversity experts on the benefits of employing a diverse team.

Lessons in Biases from the Olympics

Our biases manifest everywhere--and even during our most celebrated and joyous traditions, they can leave an impact.

A New Norm? Exploring the Four-Day Workweek

Are we truly our most productive when we work five days a week? Recent studies suggest otherwise.

Reflections on LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Corporate America

For Pride Month 2021, Enspira interviewed two pioneers in the LGBTQ+ business community who continue to inspire change.

How to Address & Support Mental Health

Chances are we all know someone who's struggling with unspoken issues. Here's  how to recognize it, thoughtfully reach out, and help.

Four Steps to Cultivating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

If we want to see real, sustainable change, we all must continue to acknowledge and celebrate diversity in the workplace.

Caregivers: Working Women in a Pandemic

The raging pandemic has pushed people beyond reasonable limits, and has adversely affected women disproportionately.

Propelling Gender & Racial Equity in STEM

The world is facing monumental challenges in the time of COVID-19, widening existing gaps in racial and gender equity.

Your frontline managers’ capability & effectiveness matters now more than ever. Here’s what you need.

It’s now more important than ever to ensure your organization has strong people manager capability and effectiveness.

Disrupting Your Workplace Culture with “The 3 Bs of Belonging”

How inclusive is your organization? Simply checking the representation boxes and creating policies isn't enough.


explore our offerings & capabilities

additional services

Hand holding plant icon

talent strategy & development

Creating innovative talent management strategies to help build and retain a world-class workforce.

Hand shake icon

employee engagement & retention

Developing comprehensive employee engagement and retention strategies to improve productivity, reduce turnover, and foster innovation.

Gift box icon

total rewards analysis

Identifying optimal combinations of benefits, compensation, rewards, and recognition to enhance employee engagement and performance.

Potted plan icon

change strategy & enablement

Guiding organizations through complex and challenging evolutions to keep employees engaged throughout the journey.

Project development on a desk

Enspira reimagines and revolutionizes the human-work experience with innovative HR solutions that put the power of business purpose in the hands of your people.

contact us
No items found.