LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Pilot Program – Business Application

LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Pilot Program – Business Application

Overview

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), in collaboration with Tourism HR Canada (THRC), are developing a comprehensive LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Program aiming to help businesses and communities certify their status as LGBT+ friendly.

As an important step toward finalizing and launching the accreditation program, we are testing it in the field in January 2021. We invite you to participate in the Field Test as an Applicant.

Benefits

Businesses will benefit from guidelines that provide information, advice and resources on ensuring that LGBT+ customers feel welcome and accepted. Accredited businesses will be able to demonstrate and market themselves as safe destinations for the LGBT+ market with progressive policies and practices as well as exceptional service standards.

By participating in our field test, successful applicants will receive a complimentary 1 year CGLCC membership. (Note: Successful applicants that are currently members of CGLCC will receive a free 1 year renewal).

There is no cost to participate in the field test. As this is a field test, applicants will not receive accreditation regardless of the results of the application –  however applicants are welcome to participate in the formal accreditation process once officially launched.

Expectations

Field Test Applicants will be expected to:

1. Complete the below Application Form.

2. Take part in a brief initial telephone interview with an Assessor.

3. Schedule and take part in an in-depth interview with an Assessor to review your information. The Assessor may also ask to schedule one to five interviews with others to complete the assessment (e.g., customers, suppliers, etc.).

4. Provide feedback on the application and assessment process and field test materials.

Timeline

Each assessment is expected to take one half-day (0.5), but may take longer depending if further analysis is required. The time required for each assessment will depend on the size of your business/organization and amount of material to be reviewed. The Field Test of the assessment process will take place in January 2021.

Deadline

The deadline to apply to the LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Pilot Program is January 13, 2021.

If you would like to participate in the LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Pilot Program as a Field Test Applicant, please complete the form below.

LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Pilot Program – Business Application

Ready to get started? Tell us why you’re the right person to help us shape a more inclusive and prosperous Canadian economy.

Section 1: Applicant Information

To participate in the Field Test as an Applicant, applicants must be a legal business or organization. Select the type(s) below that best describe your business/organization.

Section 2: Proof of Good Practice

Applicants will undergo a formal review of their business/organization’s efforts. 

You will be asked to provide proof that your efforts meet the program standard in four (4) different criteria categories:

  1. Culture of Inclusivity
  2. Policies and Practices
  3. Training
  4. Commitment to Inclusive Leadership

Applicants must provide at least three (3) types of evidence to demonstrate that they meet the standard in each of the four (4) categories of criteria.  Applicants must provide at least one (1) piece of external evidence to demonstrate that they meet the standard in each of the four (4) categories of criteria.  You may provide written documentation (for example: policies, procedures, customer reviews, etc.) or you can describe your efforts in an interview with the assessor (or both). 

Category 1: Culture of Inclusivity

Program Standard

The business/organization has established an organizational culture that is LGBT+-inclusive and affirmative.

Category Importance

A culture of inclusivity demonstrates authentic organizational values and priorities. Culture is reflected through an organization’s internally- and externally-focused policies, programs and behaviours. Internal culture is reflected, for instance, in human resource policies, senior staff directives and employee-employee conversations. External culture is reflected in marketing materials, supplier/partner arrangements, and employee-customer interactions, etc. 

Examples of Evidence/Indicators:

  • Commitment to LGBT+-inclusive practice in mission, vision and/or values statements.
  • Commitment to providing safe environments for staff, volunteers and customers – free from gender-based violence and harassment.
  • Physical and virtual environments, including information, structures, resources and processes, are LGBT+-welcoming.
  • Marketing materials feature language and imagery that reflect the LGBT+ community.
  • Use of gender-neutral / respectful language in organizational operations.

Category 2: Policies and Practices

Program Standard

The business/organization’s policies and practices are non-discriminatory and respectful of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Category Importance

Organizational policies, whether formal or informal, articulate the values and priorities that direct its actions. Practices are the expression of policies in action and of organizational culture. 

Examples of Evidence/Indicators:

  • Non-discrimination policies that ensure equal treatment of staff and volunteers. 
  • Equal administration of staff benefits.
  • Anti-harassment policies that protect employees/volunteers from other employees/volunteers and customers. 
  • Mitigation policies and response practices for negative customer and staff/volunteer experiences.
  • Policies and practices reflect use of gender-neutral / respectful language in organizational operations (e.g., respect for personal pronouns).

Category 3: Training

Program Standard

The business/organization provides diversity and inclusion training for staff and volunteers and contributes to public education on diversity and inclusion. 

Category Importance:

Providing or supporting ongoing staff and volunteer training on the importance of LGBT+ inclusion is key to enacting organizational policies. Training on how to operationalize inclusion in their respective roles is also critical. Training may be provided through in-house efforts, post-secondary education, community programming, or from other training providers.  

Examples of Evidence/Indicators:

  • Diversity, inclusion and sensitivity training that includes LGBT+-specific training.
  • LGBT+-specific diversity training (e.g., trans-specific education).
  • Communications training, including use of gender-neutral language and respect for personal pronouns.
  • Education about implicit bias and challenging gender-based assumptions.
  • Training on recognizing and addressing gender-based violence and harassment.

Category 4: Commitment to Inclusive Leadership

Program Standard

The business/organization demonstrates leadership and commitment to LGBT+ inclusion beyond its day-to-day operations.

Category Importance:

Actions that demonstrate organizational commitment to LGBT+ inclusion beyond day-to-day operations are another way for businesses/organizations to express their leadership and values. An explicit organizational commitment to LGBT+ inclusion may take the form of investment in continuous improvement, engagement in the local community, in the choice of partners and suppliers, or through another mode.   

Examples of Evidence/Indicators:

  • Renewable declaration of commitment to LGBT+ inclusion programming. 
  • Continuous improvement commitments.
  • Demonstrated community engagement.
  • Philanthropic initiatives (CSR).
  • Selection or rejection of partners (e.g., suppliers or social media influencers) based on their values and priorities.

Section 3: Applicant Code of Conduct

As a business or community organization/group applying to the LGBT+ Safe Space Accreditation Pilot Program, we commit to: 

  • Respect the fundamental rights and dignities of all people. 
  • Foster greater diversity and inclusion in Canada’s economy. 
  • Exercise leadership in affirming LGBT+ inclusion. 
  • Conduct our operations with honesty, integrity and fairness. 
  • Not engage in sexual or gender harassment, discrimination or demeaning or disrespectful behaviour to others. 
  • Assume responsibility for diversity and inclusion training for staff and volunteers. 
  • Be alert at work to minimize any risks to the personal health and safety of staff, volunteers and customers. 
  • Protect confidential information acquired in a professional capacity. 
  • Accurately represent any information provided and clarify any questions or concerns about the application.

Next Steps

Once we have reviewed your application, we will contact you to schedule a brief initial interview by telephone if your application is selected for a Pilot Program assessment.