Impacts Diversity Programs
The result of this recognition will impact your relationships with both employees and customers. Casino operators have long been focused on creating diverse workplaces. Understanding the complexity of gender inclusivity will require additional education and adaptation to ensure the workplace is inclusive. This includes reviews of policies and procedures and adjustment of personal pronouns, ensuring there are appropriate amenities for all staff (washrooms and locker rooms for example), and that hiring practices, employee benefits and more consider the complete scope of gender and sexual orientation. Customers that identify in the LGBTQ+ community also need to feel welcome and included – without alienating customers that identify in more traditional ways.
The business risks are real. On September 2, 2016 CBC reported, “Transgender woman asked for ID after using washroom in Prince Albert, Sask. Casino.” The article suggests that the woman is filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission in Saskatchewan. The story was also posted on Facebook. The casino is quoted as saying that a formal complaint had not been received and if one is received they will investigate. The article quoted the casino general manager as saying:
“We adhere to all human rights legislation and our casino welcomes all guests regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
I am sure that is true. Casino operators and Crown corporations need to have that vision included in their corporate policies and employee training to ensure they are able to respond to complaints of this nature and limit incidents of this kind. Our company, All-In Gaming & Hospitality Advisory Group, made some informal, off-the-record inquiries about this situation in Saskatchewan and discovered that the issue was far more complex than presented in the CBC report, as is often the case. That said, the truth does not matter: it is the perceived truths that are relevant to the public and can erode social licence.