Seldom does one have the opportunity in your own household to gather deep insights into how our future emerging talent communities want workplaces to deliver on their employer brand and EVP promise. 

As International Pride Month shines a spotlight on the LGBTQIA+ community and Youth Day highlights the potential of our younger generations, I had the unique pleasure of sitting down with my daughter, Cleo, and her partner, Payton, to discuss their perspectives as members of both the LGBTQIA+ community and Generation Z. Their insights into workplace expectations and needs are enlightening and essential for any employer looking to build an inclusive and supportive environment.

Understanding LGBTQIA+ Workplace Needs

In our conversation, Cleo and Payton emphasized the importance of having a workplace that genuinely welcomes the queer community. Cleo pointed out that a company’s internal value system should reflect a commitment to inclusivity, which can be demonstrated through specific policies. For instance, having gender-neutral bathrooms and ensuring that everyone respects individuals’ gender identities and pronouns are vital steps in creating a welcoming environment. Such measures make queer employees feel loved and respected, fostering a sense of belonging.

Payton added that robust anti-discrimination policies are crucial for ensuring that queer individuals are treated with respect. She highlighted the need to adapt dress codes to be more gender-neutral, thus allowing employees to express themselves comfortably without the constraints of traditional gender norms.

Gen Z’s Expectations for the Workplace

As part of Generation Z, Cleo and Payton also shared what they look for in their ideal workplaces. Payton stressed the importance of both the internal and external roles that companies play. Internally, she seeks mutual respect and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Externally, she values companies that have a positive impact on the environment and support causes aligned with her values, such as climate change initiatives and queer representation.

Cleo echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for employers to focus on the well-being of their employees. She pointed out that providing mental health support and counseling services, as well as allowing leave for mental health issues, are essential in creating a supportive work environment. This holistic approach to employee well-being is something that greatly appeals to Gen Z workers.

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community

When discussing how future employers can support the LGBTQIA+ community, Payton and Cleo underscored the importance of taking action both inside and outside the company. Payton called for employers to contribute to NGOs that focus on queer education and support, while also implementing internal education programs to foster understanding and respect among all employees. This dual approach ensures that companies not only create a positive internal environment but also contribute to broader societal change.

Cleo added that creating a safe and supportive internal environment is crucial. This includes providing education about queer issues, offering support for employees to explore and express their gender and sexuality, and ensuring that the workplace is a place where everyone can thrive.


As we navigate an ever-evolving work landscape, it is impossible to ignore the needs of the emerging Generation Z, which now makes up 30% of the workforce. My conversation with Cleo and Payton highlighted the critical aspects that employers must consider to build inclusive and supportive workplaces. From implementing specific policies that cater to the needs of LGBTQIA+ employees to fostering an environment of mutual respect and support for mental health, there are clear steps that can be taken to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Employers must listen to the voices of their employees and make the necessary changes to support diversity and inclusion. By doing so, we not only create better workplaces but also contribute to a more inclusive and understanding society. Let’s embrace these values and ensure that our workplaces are places where everyone can feel safe, valued, and respected.