Combatting Hate at Work: Five ways to apply your DEI Learning


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are buzzwords you’ve likely heard around the workplace in one form or another, but it can feel like a daunting task to truly apply what you learn. Returning to the office after the summer holidays can be your first chance to ensure your workplace is safe and inclusive to everyone. Bre Calma (they/them), Rainbow Resource Centre’s Training & Education Coordinator, brings you five key ways to apply these concepts in the workplace.


1. Share your pronouns

Sharing your pronouns is one of the simplest ways to show your support of 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Include your pronouns in your email signature, Zoom name, website bios, name tags, and when you introduce yourself to new people. By sharing your pronouns, you are not only telling a person how to refer to you, but also creating spaces where pronouns are not assumed. This makes it safer for others to share their pronouns in return.

In practice:

  • “Hi! It’s nice to meet you. My name is Bre, and my pronouns are they/them.”
  • “I have Cc’d Sam (xe/xem) in this email.”
  • “This is our new co-worker, Imani. Imani uses she, he, and they pronouns.”

2. Default to Gender Neutral

Ensure your workplace defaults to gender neutral is a way to include everyone without making assumptions about their sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and/or sexual/romantic attraction. This can include the language you use for a person (job titles, family member terms, relationship terms, etc.), dress code requirements, and more. Unless you know the gendered terms a person uses, stick to gender neutral.

In practice:

“Do you have a partner or family you are close to?” vs. “Do you have a wife / husband / girlfriend / boyfriend?”

“Dress Code — All staff are required to wear close-toed shoes, shirts covering their chests and shoulders, and long pants or skirts when at work” vs. “Women may wear skirts if they are floor length. Women’s tops must not display cleavage.”

“Good morning, everyone!” vs. “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!”


3. Intervene on Harmful Language

It can sometimes be intimidating to stand up against hate in the workplace, but intervening when you hear harmful language makes a big difference for creating a safer workplace. You don’t have to know all the answers or be the most qualified on the subject to speak up; stopping the harm shows what your values are and that you won’t tolerate hate.

In practice:

  • “I don’t find that funny and that’s not acceptable language to use for people.”
  • “Kei uses he/him pronouns now, not she/her. It might help to practice that.”
  • “I don’t agree with that.”

4. Reflect on your privileges

There are many privileges that individuals within the 2SLGBTQ+ community may not share and recognizing that will help you to be more understanding of their specific needs. Being aware of the privileges you hold will help you create spaces where individuals in equity-seeking groups are also heard and valued.


  • Do you have to worry about accessing a bathroom that affirms your identity?
  • Do you have to wonder how people will react to finding out your partner’s gender?
  • What percentage of your workforce is cisgender and heterosexual?

Continue Learning

The 2SLGBTQ+ community is diverse and always changing, which means there will always be more to learn. Continue your learning after your DEI workshop to ensure you keep up to date with the needs of the community.

In practice:

  • Follow more 2SLGBTQ+ content creators on social media, read more 2SLGBTQ+ focused books and articles, and watch more tv shows / movies about the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
  • Participate in additional DEI trainings.
  • Find resources to connect with and learn from.


To learn more about how your office can benefit from DEI trainings or to have a consultation about your human resources or administrative practices, contact Bre Calma at