June is LGBTQ+ Pride month all across the world. Even though many businesses are still working remotely today due to the pandemic this still represents an opportunity to celebrate everything that Pride stands for. From inclusivity and equality to self-identity the Pride message is an incredibly positive one. However, this is also a time to focus on discrimination that still exists and to ensure that governments, organisations and businesses are held accountable. More inclusive businesses enjoy a more positive culture and benefits of productivity and innovation too – the advantages of diversity can make progressive organisations 70% more likely to capture new markets. Celebrating Pride in your office is a simple way to show where your organisation stands where diversity is concerned.
5 ways to celebrate Pride
Make an impact during Pride month this year by celebrating it with intention.
- Start with your internal processes and policies. Simply changing your social media icons to a rainbow and saying positive things could be interpreted as performative – the hard work comes in tackling your own infrastructure to ensure that your business is truly welcoming and diverse. It’s not easy to eliminate unconscious bias but a robust discrimination and diversity policy that is clear, well-implemented and backed by everyone at all levels of the business is a great start.
- Book an LGBTQ+ speaker. There are many different types of LGBTQ+ speakers out there, from those who will come and share their own experiences to experts who can inform and improve understanding of the community among your staff. This is something that can be hosted virtually, too, if many of your employees are still working remotely. Speakers can bring a human element to LGBTQ+ issues and increase empathy and understanding among those who may otherwise have no contact with the community.
- Raise money for charity. An event that generates funds for a charity, such as Switchboard or Stonewall, is a simple but powerful way to celebrate Pride month. This could be anything, from charity bingo to a gig that people buy tickets for.
- Schedule an inclusion workshop. LGBTQ+ employees can silently suffer discrimination and poor treatment at the hands of colleagues who may simply not know any better. An inclusion workshop is an effective opportunity to ensure that everyone in the business understands what’s required of them when it comes to the way that they treat those they work with. Bringing an external expert in facilitating LGBTQ+ equality can cover everything, from how to manage pronouns to the best ways to be an ally. Committing to a workshop will also demonstrate that your business places value on LGBTQ+ needs.
- Make a visual statement. Rainbow flags and banners can be a visual representation of how your organisation feels about the LGBTQ+ members of staff within the workforce – a very public show of support. This is the easiest way to demonstrate diversity as a value during Pride month – just make sure that the business itself is structured to back up the visual statement and isn’t making life harder for LGBTQ+ employees in reality through bias or discrimination.
Celebrating Pride is a great choice for any business – ideally, every organisation will combine a commitment to practical and positive change within the business with a celebration of everything that the Pride rainbow stands for.