Every June, people around the world celebrate Pride.
It’s a month of elaborate celebrations and festive gatherings where LGBTQ community members and their allies come together. It’s also a month to reflect on the progress that the LGBTQ community has made. It is important in celebrating Pride that we take additional steps to ensure we are creating a more inclusive work environment not just during June but throughout the year.
Here are a few ways where your office can create a more inclusive environment:
- Create an Employee Resource Group — Resource groups unite LGBTQ+ and allied peers to build an inclusive company culture. This empowers them to discuss issues on a recurring basis and organize around issues impacting them in their daily lives.
- Listen and Speak Up When Appropriate — We have made a lot of progress as a society when it comes to creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for members of the LGBTQ community — but we are not all the way there yet. A June 2020 report from McKinsey shows that LGBTQ+ men and women are more likely to have experienced microaggressions at work than their straight counterparts. Listen to the experiences that your LGBTQ+ colleagues are having. Encourage them to speak up and stand up for themselves. If you hear something or notice something untoward, take the extra step of speaking up yourself and letting the person perpetuating those microaggressions know that kind of behavior is not acceptable in the workplace.
- Encourage People to Be Their True Selves — That same June 2020 report from McKinsey shows that “LGBTQ women are also more than twice as likely as straight women to feel as though they cannot talk about themselves or their life outside work.” Further, transgender employees are far more likely than their cisgender counterparts to view both their gender and their sexual orientation as their biggest barriers to personal advancement. People who feel as though they cannot be their true and authentic selves may be holding themselves back careerwise. In other words — Taking extra steps to promote an inclusive workplace will help you get better business results by making your employees feel more comfortable at work.
- Support the Cause by Engaging and Raising Awareness – Activism is the essence of Pride. Businesses and employees can do their part by engaging with and donating to LGBTQ resource groups at the local and national level, including the Trevor Project, the Howard Brown Health Center, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and others. During Pride, make your employees aware of organizations and resources near local offices and encourage them to get involved.
- Support LGBTQ-Owned and Allied Businesses – Pride is a great time to introduce yourself and your company to LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses in your community that you can and should be supporting year round. The good news — It’s easier than ever before to find a list of LGBTQ-owned businesses by city. For instance, here are lists of LGBTQ owned businesses in all the places where Premise has office locations including San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, and London. Share a list of LGBTQ-owned businesses internally on company Slack channels or in company newsletters to make it easier for employees to support those businesses.
- Express, Educate, & Celebrate – Vibrant, rainbow-filled colors abound during Pride, and the true representation of Pride Month is an expression of your individualism. Express your style by creating Pride swag. For instance, organizing a group design competition to create stylish t-shirts with a message can visibly celebrate the community. Educate your peers with the history of those who blazed a trail for everyone to follow. Historically significant LGBTQ rights movements like Stonewall and the fight for legalized gay marriage among others are why we continue to celebrate Pride — Because there is still a lot of work left to be done. Celebrate the progress that has been made by hosting a mini Pride parade or party. Throw a rainbow themed party during Pride with assorted colorful décor and array of delicious food and treats.
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