Pride month: Celebrating LGBTQ+ communities and promoting inclusivity in our workplaces

CoP Pride flag 400 x 600
June is Pride month, a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities around the world. It is also a time to reflect on the inequality of the past and how we can all play our part in making the world a kinder and more inclusive place.

We can all choose to be inclusive in our everyday lives by being mindful of our words and actions. Our workplaces are another area where it is important to be inclusive. The Equality Act 2010 is designed to protect from discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation among many other areas. During June we are encouraging our members to reflect on their workplace to see if there are any ways that it needs to become more inclusive.

Below are some simple steps you can take to help make sure your workplace is a welcoming place for all that work there, as well as all that use your services.

Use of inclusive language

Communication is one of the most important tools in a healthcare worker’s skillset. Using the wrong terminology can lead to unnecessary barriers between clinician and patient or between co-workers. Taking ownership of your language use and how it can affect others is a crucial step in creating equality in the workplace.

We recommend reading the below resources designed for healthcare professionals on the importance of inclusive language.

RCPod blog on making your practice LGBTQ+ inclusive 

Inclusive language in the NHS 

The King’s Fund article on inclusive language in healthcare 

The King’s Fund podcast on tackling LGBTQ+ health inequalities 

HCPC Standards of Proficiency on equality, diversity and inclusion.


Knowing and using someone’s correct pronouns can foster trust, inclusivity and create a safe and welcoming environment. It shows dignity and respect to your patient. Misgendering your patient or colleague can cause anxiety and distress as well as reduce the relationship of trust that is essential for positive outcomes. Changing pronoun use comes easier to some than others but it is an important part of the care experience. Remembering to use someone’s correct pronouns is no different to remembering to address them by a new surname after marriage.

Read more about why pronouns matter with the NHS Confederation.

Being Trans and non-binary inclusive

Health inequalities for trans and non-binary people are an issue which many healthcare facilities are taking positive action to address.

Best for You, an NHS North London based website, collated a range of resources for healthcare practitioners to help them best support the care of their trans and non-binary patients.

Trans Actual, a charity raising awareness of trans issues, offer further reading on their website.

The Race Equality Foundation offers specific resources on the barriers to healthcare faced by trans and non-binary black and ethnic minority people on their website.

But it is not just about patient care. Trans and non-binary healthcare workers have reported greater levels of bullying and aggression in the workplace. Every worker should have the right to work in a safe environment. The LGBTQ+ Leaders Network at the NHS Confederation produced a report in 2023 to help address some of the issues faced by trans and non-binary workers. You can read the report on its website.

Equality in your workplace policies

Every workplace should have policies and governance in place to ensure that tasks run smoothly, and workers are aware of their rights. Ensuring that your policies use gender neutral language and are fair to all genders is a straightforward way to influence your workplace culture. Check your polices for use of gendered terms and update them with gender neutral wording where necessary e.g. replace instances of ‘he’ and ‘she’ with ‘them’ or ‘they.’ Your maternity, paternity and adoption policies may also need to be updated to remove any heterosexual-only terminology and to ensure that they are inclusive of all relationships.

Further reading:

Royal College of Podiatry member workplace policy resources

TUC Cymru ‘10 steps towards LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces’ 


The RCPod Employment Relations team is available to assist all members with enquiries about workplace policies and procedures as well as to provide confidential advice on any workplace issues, including bullying, harassment and discrimination. If you need help, contact the team on employmentsupport@rcpod.org.uk with your name, membership number (if known) and a brief overview of the help you need.