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As we embark on PRIDE month this year, there’s no better time to acknowledge and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Whether that’s attending PRIDE events, festivals, or arranging parties with family and friends, there are many ways we can proudly fly our rainbow flags together this June.
For employers in particular, this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to be proactive this month, ensuring they have strategies in place to promote inclusion and support all employees from a range of diverse backgrounds.
According to NHS England, “LGBT people still face unacceptable stigma and discrimination and we continue to see homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the media and on social media.”
Studies show that 35% of workers have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination, with 18% experiencing negative comments or conduct from colleagues in the last year due to their sexual orientation (Stonewall). While our society is becoming more accepting of broader and diverse identities, these figures demonstrate that more needs to be done in the UK workplace. Not only will this provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, but it’ll also help to create a culture that will attract and retain a wide pool of talent across your business.
If you’re looking to get involved in celebrating PRIDE this year but aren’t sure where to begin, here are a handful of activities for you to consider.
Partner with an LGBTQ+ charity
As an employer, a great way to drive your diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy forwards is to partner with an official charity that understands the current challenges and work conflict that some people may be experiencing. Organisations who regularly research and take the time to understand how socio-economic issues may be affecting various demographics can offer key insights into what practical strategies a company can adopt to tangibly promote inclusion.
This can help to fill knowledge gaps and educate the wider team on what it truly means to support the LGBTQ+ community. Your charity can be selected by putting it to a team vote to ensure it’s one that your employees feel truly represented and empowered by. If you need a shortlist to get the ball rolling, here are 11 top LGBTQ+ charities to consider.
Once you have your chosen charity, it’s time to arrange some fundraising events! Whether it’s something simple, such as a lunchtime bake sale or organising a larger-scale PRIDE-themed staff party, every penny raised will go to a worthwhile cause that will directly support the LGBTQ+ community.
Dress the office with PRIDE rainbow décor to add a splash of colour to your surroundings this June. This will provide a strong visual message for employees and clients, encouraging people to support and get involved in local activities. It’ll also brighten up your office and create a positive working atmosphere.
Addition of pronouns
Another way to acknowledge the importance of inclusivity and demonstrate your commitment to individuality is to provide employees with the option to use gender relevant pronouns. Whether it’s on email signatures or LinkedIn pages, this is a sign of respect for how colleagues choose to identify and how they would like to be referred to both in and out of the workplace. If you’d like any further information on how best to embed these within your business, take a look at our recent article: Gender pronouns: how to be inclusive.
As well as pronouns, you may wish to educate yourself on using the correct terminology within the LGBTQ+ community. You can find a full A-Z transcript here.
Change company logos
Want to show clients you’re celebrating PRIDE month this year? Consider changing your company logo on social media platforms, add rainbow banners to websites and / or use PRIDE desktop backgrounds for virtual meeting tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. This demonstrates a message of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, helping to further cement your D&I strategy. The more you develop this, the more you will enhance your company reputation as a whole. It’s small activities such as these that helps to illustrate a company’s commitment to inclusion and makes employees feel heard and valued.
Arrange a PRIDE-themed event
Finally, nothing quite screams PRIDE month like an elaborate party for all to enjoy! This is the perfect way to reward your team for their continued hard work, while also celebrating diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Remember, PRIDE is all about being loud and proud of who you truly are – so the brighter, the better! You could even arrange for an influential speaker from the LGBTQ+ community to come along and share some personal stories, alongside a few key insights on how your company can incorporate inclusive practices throughout its working model. Having someone share personal insights from direct experience can help others not only think differently and reflect on their own behaviour and knowledge but can also be an extremely impactful way to affect positive organisational change.
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